There is No “I” in Cover Letter

When writing a cover letter, remember the purpose is to focus on the audience or shall we say potential employer at all times. Employers are seeking a solution to a need through hiring, so by keeping the employer as your central focus, you will generate interest in your letter’s content.   A well written cover letter addresses an employer’s need and provides proven examples of your ability to meet that need.  Transform interest in what you have to say into a desire to contact you by highlight relevant experience and accomplishments.

Cover letters that are littered with the word “I” automatically draws the reader’s attention away from the intended audience and back to the writer.  As a job seeker, you are a marketing manager, and every successful marketing campaign targets a customer’s need.  As a job seeker, you want to sell and market the skills that matter most to a potential employer.  A better word or phrase with which to cover the page of a cover letter is the name of the employer and organization rather than “I”. 

As a job seeker, you want the employer to read your letter and resume and be inspired to call you for an interview.  Here are a few tips for writing a cover letter that turns attention to the reader as opposed to “I”:

  1. Begin with a word other than “I”.  Right off the bat you take the attention off of the employer and on to yourself.   
  2. After your first draft, circle the “I”s in red.  During the editing process, reword those phrases so that you decrease your number by at least half.
  3. Focus on what the employer needs rather than what you want.  “I want” or “I am seeking experience” will shift the focus of the message from marketing your ability to pleading for a job. 

 A targeted job search campaign consists of marketing yourself as a solution to business.  A cover letter connects an employer’s needs with your abilities with the emphasis on the employer, not “I”.


7 thoughts on “There is No “I” in Cover Letter

  1. Cindy Billington Post author

    Thank you! It’s all about tailoring communication to interest the person receiving the information.

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