I'm always pushing job seekers to use a relaxed tone in their cover letters. But sometimes a formal cover letter is the right way to go. This is one of those times.
Andrew's Cover Letter for My Review
Andrew sent me this cover letter sample, asking for my help with his entry-level job search.
With this covering letter and attached resume, I would like to express my interest in obtaining employment for an entry-level job position. I submit my qualifications and interest in working with your reputed institution. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Degree in Accounting from the African Methodist Episcopal University. It is often said that to operate effectively within a financial environment, one must be tenacious, analytical, and highly dedicated. I want to obtain a full position in a banking institution that will utilize my analytical and financial background. I can assure you that if given this opportunity, I would be pleased to apply my competencies to add value as a member of your team. I would relish the challenge of working for such a high-profile institution and admire your commitment to customer service.Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to you to arrange an interview.
Enclosures: Resume and References.
My Take on Andrew's Rather Formal Cover Letter
I really like the polite tone of your cover letter. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I have a few comments that I hope will make it a bit better.
- Although it was once common to start a letter with "Dear Sir/Madam" it is now considered old-fashioned. It would be better to start with "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Manager."
- The word "reputed" seems a little too much (almost like flattery). I suggest you delete that word.
- It would be good to make a new paragraph with the sentence "It is often said...".
- Perhaps you could say "I would like to obtain..." instead of "I want to obtain...". It's just a little more gentle.
- See how it looks if you make another new paragraph with the sentence, "I can assure you...".
- In the same sentence, I suggest you delete "be pleased to" and "apply my competencies to" so it reads: "I can assure you that if given this opportunity, I would add value as a member of your team."
- In the next sentence, the word "relish" is not quite right. I suggest using "welcome" instead. Also, I suggest using "would uphold" instead of "admire."
- The last sentence needs help. Here's another way to close your letter: "I would very much appreciate the opportunity of a job interview."
The overall tone of your letter is bit formal, but I think it is appropriate given your field. It also hints that you are from a non-American culture. If I'm correct about this, then the tone of your letter is very good. If you want to sound more American (not something I'm pushing for) then think about rewriting the whole thing with a more relaxed tone.
A Quick Rewrite of Andrew's Cover Letter Sample
I took a stab at rewriting your cover letter, using the points above and making a few more edits. Here you go.
With this cover letter and attached resume, I would like to express my interest in obtaining employment for an entry-level position at ____ (name of firm). I have a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Accounting from the African Methodist Episcopal University.
It is often said that to operate effectively within a financial environment, one must be tenacious, analytical, and highly dedicated. I can assure you that as a member of your team, I would bring these attributes to your firm. I would welcome the challenge of working for such a high-profile institution and would uphold your commitment to excellent customer service.
Thank you for your consideration. I would very much appreciate the opportunity of a job interview.
Enclosures: Resume and References
I think this version keeps your formal tone while making your message a little more streamlined. I hope it helps you land that entry-level job you're looking for.
More Sample Cover Letters
Want to see more sample cover letters?
Sample Customer Service Cover Letter
If you're hoping to land an interview for a customer service job, you need a cover letter that's specifically geared toward your industry and the job listing in question. A good cover letter that hooks the hiring manager's attention and demonstrates the value you'd bring to the role is essential if you want to get that interview and ultimately, the job.
What a Customer Service Cover Letter Should Include
A cover letter for a customer service job should have all the usual elements of a good cover letter, including:
- Contact information: your name, address, phone number, email address, and so on.
- A salutation: Ideally, follow your greeting with the name of a contact at the company – either the hiring manager or a representative from human resources. If you do not have a contact, you can leave off of the salutation, or include a general one, such as "To Whom It May Concern."
- The cover letter body, including a grabby first paragraph that draws the reader in and hooks them with your skills and experience, and supporting paragraphs that show that you know what the company is looking for and that you can provide it.
- A closing paragraph, summarizing your skills and how you'd use them to solve the company's problems and contribute to its success.
- A closer, e.g., "sincerely" or "best regards." Here's more information on how to close a cover letter, with examples.
Of course, a cover letter for a customer service position should demonstrate your specific customer service-related skills and experience.
You're trying not only to get the hiring manager's attention but indicate that you understand what is required for the role.
You'll want to highlight soft skills like listening, conflict resolution, empathy, and depersonalization (i.e., the ability to provide caring customer service while not telling the customer your life story).
Hard skills like software programs specific to the job are also valuable.
Here's a customer service skills list to get you started brainstorming. If you have even a little bit of experience in the industry, you might be surprised how many of these hard and soft skills should be on your resume and in your cover letter – and aren't. Now is not the time for modesty, so go ahead and toot your own horn.
Customer Service Cover Letter Sample
The following is an example of a cover letter for a customer service position. Also see below for more cover letter samples, and tips for emailing a cover letter and resume.
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Cell Phone Number
Dear Hiring Manager,
In today's customer service oriented society, timely, friendly, proactive service is sought to enhance future business growth. Customer loyalty is always impacted when you employ the right service professional to represent you when assisting your valued customers.
My long-term experience in the service industry has taught me how to meet and exceed each customer's expectations with service that sells. I have assisted all types of customers in all types of settings. I realize that acquiring and maintaining loyal repeat business as well as spreading the word of your business through these loyal patrons is of the utmost importance in every company.
Positioning a company for better exposure and greater marketability is a task that I have performed with success many times.
I am an excellent trainer who achieves ongoing success with her teams by building morale, maintaining teams' self-confidence, and training them to build the sale by improving their people skills.
It would be a pleasure to interview with you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
How to Send an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending your cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.