Friday, August 15, 2008

The Covering Letter

I had already been working for more than 10 years when, in 2006, I switched to the technical writing field. The first job was fairly easy to find - I looked up the vacancies, found a few that I liked the look of, got a call for an interview, and got onboarded :) It was a fun, learning experience at that company. Two years later, I thought it was time for me to change jobs. That shouldn’t be too difficult, I told myself, since I am now “experienced”. Two months later, I realised that though I was getting responses to my applications, they were not really from companies that I was dying to work for. The “hey-I’d-love-this-job” vacancies that I had applied to weren’t generating responses. I gave a long and hard look at my résumé (though this blog post is not about that). I also gave a long and hard look at my covering letter. My English teacher in school had taught me that all non-letters (CVs, forms, cheques and drafts, etc.) MUST be accompanied by a covering letter, so my standard practice thus far had been something on the lines of:

So, I re-read this letter critically. “Yew”, I told myself. “Hiring managers of “hot companies” must be getting tons of these. What can I do to make my covering letter interesting enough to make them click that link that takes them to my actual résumé?”

I thought awhile and came up with a different covering letter. This is what I want to share with all of you in this blog post of mine. The covering letter that I finally sent out got me three interview calls within the space of an hour, and all of them from three “good” companies. I am at one of them today :). This is what my edited covering letter looked like.

It may be a totally unconventional manner of doing things but I realise that it made me stand out from the crowd and still get taken seriously.


Kartikeya Dwivedi. said...

What a novel idea!

Radhika Nair said...

I liked the format of your covering letter.

-Radhika Nair

Anonymous said...


It is by far the most unique way of writing a cover letter. Thanks for sharing this.

Will keep the 'uniqueness' concept in mind :)