One of the most powerful ways to get your resume noticed by an employer is by including a strong cover letter that speaks directly to the job. So to help increase the chances of getting your resume selected, here is a basic sample cover letter targeted to a specific job that you can use as a template to write your own cover letter.
And yes … it really can make a difference. By carefully targeting your cover letter to each job, you have a far better chance of grabbing the screener’s attention – and winning that all-important interview. And targeting both your resume AND cover letter is your ultimate “one-two” punch!
In case you need help with cover letter basics
To help you with writing your own, I’m including a template of what a TARGETED cover letter might look like. But first, it might help to review the things that generally go into a strong cover letter:
==> What Goes Into a Good Resume Cover Letter?
Job description elements to target for this example
The job we’ll be using in this case is Business Analyst. So before I show you a sample cover letter, let’s first look at some key requirements in the job description (borrowed from a post about targeting business analyst resumes), since the description is where you find skills you want to target.
“We’re looking for a Senior Business Analyst with Oracle experience (preferred), a thorough understanding of human resources business functions, and experience in requirements gathering, business process improvement, and software testing including planning, execution, and reporting. Some of the specific requirements include:
- A minimum of 5 years experience as a business analyst. Usability/ user experience expertise a plus.
- Oversees all functional aspects of system development, in partnership with the technical lead.
- Experience and proficiency in preparing planning documents and written reports.
- Ability to produce high quality requirement specifications to support ERP functional design development.
- Writes detailed functional test plans to ensure system changes work properly, existing processes remain unaffected, and the needs of the users are met.“
Example of a cover letter targeted to this job
Dear Hiring Manager, (NOTE: best to find an actual name if you can)
I am very interested in the Senior Business Analyst opening at ABC Company that I saw advertised on Dice.com. I hope you will consider my closely-related experience, as well as my strong interest in ABC Company, which I’ll be happy to talk more about when we speak.
As a Business Analyst at XYZ Company, I’ve worked extensively on their Oracle human resource and financial systems. I think you’ll find this experience especially relevant:
- Managed all functional aspects of major system upgrade to Oracle Human Resources legacy system
- Interviewed users and prepared detailed requirements documentation for new payroll system module
- Led user task groups to assure appropriateness and usability of new user interfaces and workflow components
- Worked with users and technical staff to develop test plans prior to major implementations
I have attached (included / pasted) my resume, and would appreciate the chance to explore this opportunity further with you. Please feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 if you have any questions or need additional information.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
==> Click for Sample Targeted Business Analyst Cover Letter with header
Some final thoughts
No matter what job you are applying for, the basic targeting technique is to use the job description as the source of skills / experience they are especially interested in. And then, make sure that you highlight at least a few of your corresponding skills /experience on your cover letter, and as much as possible on your resume.
Your goal is to use your targeted cover letter to help them see how well you match their current opening. And even if you have to use transferable skills to make your case, make sure you’ve done your best to point them to the parts of your work history that matter most to THEM.
More articles you might enjoy:
♦ Resume Tips: How To Target Your Resume To the Job
♦ How to Write a Strong Resume that Gets You Real Interviews
♦ Your Resume and Cover Letter Story Work Together To Get You the Job!
♦ Why Cover Letters Still Matter Even If Some Don’t Get Read
♦ How a Great Cover Letter Got Me to Give Her the Job
♦ Cover Letters: How Your Cover Letter Can Help With Career Change!
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Insurance Analyst Trainee Position
Highlight your education and strong analytical skills
As an entry-level business analyst, your cover letter should highlight previous work and educational experience. Since your job will deal largely with data and reports, you should include examples of the technical business skills you have learned and used as part of your education and in previous positions. Try to address as closely as possible the requirements stated in the job description for the best chance at gaining an interview.
What to Include
If you have a reference or referral from someone you know, you should include it early in your cover letter. Having someone, ideally someone in the insurance industry, vouch for you can make the difference in scoring an interview or not, especially at the entry level. If you know someone with a contact at your target company, reach out to that person and seek an endorsement. If you don't have any connections to an employee at your target company, include a reference from someone in the insurance industry with whom you have interned, worked or studied.
In your cover letter, go into more detail about certain aspects of the qualifications and experiences that you mention in your resume. This is your opportunity to explain how certain skills were applied during internships and previous positions. Don't just say that you understand insurance rules. Get specific and note that you how you have previously utilized your familiarity with HIPAA Compliance and Security Policies and Procedures or with Medicare rules and regulations, depending on what the job listing mentions.
You can also discuss specific projects that you worked on as a part of your coursework that you feel are relevant to the open position.
Remember that your cover letter works together with your resume to present you as a well-qualified candidate. Try to use your cover letter to enhance and provide details for the most important aspects of your resume as they relate to the job you are applying for.
Point out how your analyst internship at ABC company has already taught you many of the skills you will need as an Insurance Analyst Trainee at XYZ Company.
The following is a cover letter example for insurance analyst trainee position. You can use this cover letter as a guide, adjusting the details to fit your circumstances and the specific job to which you are applying.
Insurance Analyst Trainee Cover Letter Example
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Cell Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname,
I would like to express my interest in an insurance analyst trainee position with XYZ Company. Throughout my job search and conversations with insurance industry personnel, I have come to respect the professionalism that characterizes your firm and its employees. I am confident that XYZ Company’s values and objectives would highly complement my own strengths and enthusiasm. I would like to be considered for your Insurance Analyst Trainee role, or a similar position that requires refined analytical and communication skills.
Evidence of my leadership and analytical skills can be seen in my responsibilities as analyst intern at ABC Company, and my commitment to academics.
My educational background in government and business, combined with my internship experiences, has been excellent preparation for an analyst career with XYZ Company.
Please review the enclosed resume and references, and consider my application for your Insurance Analyst Trainee role. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in New York and explore the company environment, as well as possible job opportunities. I will call your office next week to discuss these possibilities.
I look forward to exchanging ideas with you concerning a career at XYZ Company and the positive contributions I would offer as a member of your organization.
Thank you for your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
How to Send an Email Cover Letter
If you're sending a cover letter via email, the format will vary from that of a traditional written letter.
The subject line should contain your name and the job title:
Subject: Insurance Analyst Trainee Position—Firstname Lastname
Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation. The body of the letter will be exactly the same as in a written cover letter. Do not use abbreviations and be sure to proofread thoroughly.
If you are applying for the job by email, make sure that you follow the directions completely. Different companies will prefer that your documents be presented in different formats; some will request Word documents, others will want them in a PDF, and others may specify something else. Your application won’t make it through the screening process if you don’t follow the directions, no matter how qualified you may be, so read carefully and make sure you understand and follow those instructions.