Writing a Cover Letter

Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific requirements identified in the advertisement.  Before you draft this letter, go through a thorough analysis of the specifications in the posting or job ad.  How have you demonstrated or achieved each of the specifications or qualities they outline in the posting?  Make a chart to help shape the cover letter.  Following is a sample exercise that can be done on your own or with the help of a Working Centre Employment Counsellor.

Using a Sample Job Ad to Write Your Cover Letter

Sample Job Add:

"Senior Marketing Assistant

ABC company is seeking Senior Assistant for its Marketing Department in its head office.

The position requires word-processing and dictation, with excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.  2 to 3 years clerical / administrative experience in a marketing, advertising or public relations environment would be an asset.

The job is most suitable to a flexible person who is a self-starter and works well with little or no supervision.  Candidate should be able to work well under pressure and with other people, have a pleasant personality and good sense of humour."

Dissecting the Ad:

Skills Required


Your Experience and Accomplishments

Word processing skills


My keyboarding speed is 90 wpm.  I am very comfortable using MS Word.

Dictation with excellent written and verbal communication skills.


When I worked at XYZ company most letters were done by dicta-phone.  I also wrote reports and handled incoming phone calls.

2 to 3 years clerical experience


During my 3 years at company XYZ, I was assistant to the Executive Director.

Administrative qualities


I set up a filing system, and was responsible for monthly budgets.

Flexible person

Self Starter

Minimal supervision

Works well with others 


My supervisor was away often.  It was up to me to set my own schedule and meet deadlines.


Select three or four of your accomplishments that correspond to the most important qualifications, and describe them in the letter.

Give specific reasons for your interest in the position.  Include your past relevant accomplishments, experience and skills.  Based on your research, describe how your qualifications fit with the organization's needs or management style.

Sum up your letter by pointing out any other relevant experience, including education and volunteer work.  Request an interview and thank the person for his/her consideration of your application.

Use the attached Cover Letter Worksheet to try this exercise on a job ad.

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