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Customizable Opening Paragraphs for Cover Letters: Uninvited Letters

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by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.

 

When it comes to cover letters, have you got writer's block? Do you feel that if you could just start the letter, you'd be OK? Help is here.

 

Here is a collection of customizable opening paragraphs for cover letters. Remember Mad Libs, the fill-in-the-blank game that resulted in wacky stories? This collection is a little like Mad Libs, except that the intended result is not wacky, but serious, effective openers for cover letter. Following each customizable opening paragraph, you'll find a sample paragraph with the blanks filled in.

 

This set of 26 customizable opening paragraphs is for uninvited cover letters, also known as cold-contact and prospecting cover letters. The uninvited prospecting cover letter enables you to take a proactive approach to job-hunting instead of the reactive approach, in which you merely answer ads or job postings. It can be a great tool for uncovering hidden jobs where supposedly no openings exist. Read more about uninvited cover letters here.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #1:
I am interested in speaking with you regarding a(n) [name of position] with your firm. My accounting and academic experience, as well as my [name of certification] certification, have prepared me well to make a significant contribution to your organization. I have specialized in [name of specialty] in my previous employment and am well equipped to bring my expertise to your firm.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
I am interested in speaking with you regarding an accounting position with your firm. My accounting and academic experience, as well as my CPA certification, have prepared me well to make a significant contribution to your organization. I have specialized in taxation in my previous employment and am well equipped to bring my expertise to your firm.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #2:
My extensive experience in [area of experience] and my commitment to [executing an action that would be required in this position] aligns extremely well with a [name of position] position within your organization.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My extensive experience in business management and my commitment to orchestrating smooth project flow aligns extremely well with a project manager position within your organization.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #3:
As a cornerstone of my professional experience, I've made it a priority to develop a broad and diverse skill set with a particular eye toward [executing an action that would be expected in the targeted position] in a [type of work environment] environment. I'd like to bring those skills to your firm in a [name of position] capacity. Specifically, I can contribute the following:
  • The experience that makes me a value-added and innovative solution-provider -- yet, at the same time, a down-to-earth, hands-on, hard worker with a finely honed ability to identify problems and areas for improvement;
  • A solid and extensive [type of experience], [type of experience], and [type of experience] background;
  • The [type of skills] skills and [type of mindset] mindset that enable me to [execute actions that would be expected in the targeted position].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
As a cornerstone of my professional experience, I've made it a priority to develop a broad and diverse skill set with a particular eye toward providing quality client service in a technical environment. I'd like to bring those skills to your firm in a Client Service Engineer capacity. Specifically, I can contribute the following:
  • The experience that makes me a value-added and innovative solution-provider -- yet, at the same time, a down-to-earth, hands-on, hard worker with a finely honed ability to identify problems and areas for improvement;
  • A solid and extensive marketing, sales, and customer-service background;
  • The technical skills and client-driven mindset that enable me to delve into complex issues and ensure client satisfaction.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #4:
During [a period in your career/education], I learned that [name of employer] is a highly respected organization and well-known for its [characterization of employer's reputation]. My ability to [execute an action that would be expected of someone in the targeted position] parallels your company's commitment. The value that I can add to your organization based on more than [number of years] years' worth of accomplishments is summarized below:

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
During my graduate studies, I learned that Campbell Soup is a highly respected organization and well-known for its concern for quality and safety. My ability to analyze food systems in terms of equipment, processing, quality, and microbial safety parallels your company's commitment. The value that I can add to your organization based on more than six years' worth of accomplishments is summarized below:

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #5:
As a [phrase that describes your current education/career situation], I seek an opportunity, such as a position in the [name of employer], in which I can make a real contribution. I am excited about your agency's mission [quote from employer's mission statement] and I am more than ready to assist [quote from employer's mission statement].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
As a graduate student in Fishery and Wildlife Science at Montana State University, I seek an opportunity, such as a position in the SCARP program, in which I can make a real contribution. I am excited about your agency's mission "to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people," and I am more than ready to assist those "who work to save endangered and threatened species; conserve migratory birds and inland fisheries; and manage offices and field stations."

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #6:
As a [phrase that describes your current education/career situation], with hands-on experience and strong problem-solving skills, I am confident that I would make a successful addition to your [type of team] team.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
As a researcher with hands-on experience and strong problem-solving skills, I am confident that I would make a successful addition to your biomedical team.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #7:
I have learned that [name of professional organization] is committed to matching the [name of field] openings in member companies with quality applicants. Thus, I am writing to introduce you to a background that should be of great interest to your member firms and to ask your assistance in my quest for a [type of position] position.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
I have learned that the Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Professionals Association is committed to matching the biotech/pharmaceutical openings in member companies with quality applicants. Thus, I am writing to introduce you to a background that should be of great interest to your member firms and to ask your assistance in my quest for a research position.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #8:
My expertise in the [name of field], along with my solid background in [name of field] and [name of field], would enable me to enhance your [type of workplace]'s success in a [name of position] capacity.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My expertise in the molecular biology, along with my solid background in biochemistry and cell biology, would enable me to enhance your lab's success in a research director capacity.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #9:
My unique background as both a [name of occupation] and [name of occupation] would enable me to make a valuable contribution in a [name of position] capacity for your organization.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My unique background as both a practicing attorney and trainer would enable me to make a valuable contribution in a trainer/instructor capacity for your organization.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #10:
My varied [type(s) of experience] experience, along with my extensive educational background, make me an ideal candidate for a position with [name of employer] as a [name of position]. My supervisors at [name(s) of current/former employers], where I most recently served as a [name of position], will attest to my natural abilities to [execute actions expected of someone in the targeted position].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My varied customer service and training experience, along with my extensive educational background, make me an ideal candidate for a position with Apple as a corporate trainer. My supervisors at the California United Way and Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, where I most recently served as a volunteer trainer/facilitator, will attest to my natural abilities to plan, organize, and lead groups of all sizes.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #11:
My [relevant characteristic], my [type of experience] experience, and my genuine desire to [execute an action expected of someone in the targeted position] make me an excellent fit as a(n) [name of position] in your [type of work environment]. I would like to express a sincere interest in joining your [type of staff] staff so that together we can [execute an action expected of someone in the targeted position].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My enthusiastic personality, my teaching experience, and my genuine desire to help students succeed make me an excellent fit as an Apprentice Teacher in your school district. I would like to express a sincere interest in becoming a permanent member of your teaching staff so that together we can make a positive difference in the lives of Philadelphia students.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #12:
My experience as a [name of position], my [trait expected of someone in targeted position], and my [characteristic relevant to the targeted position] would all be solid assets in a tour operator position with [name of employer].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My experience as a flight attendant, my commitment to the safety and comfort of travelers, and my understanding of the needs of tourists who seek expedient arrangements would all be solid assets in a tour-operator position with Fiorello & Associates.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #13:
Because I have [executed actions relevant to the targeted position], I am confident that I offer the qualities to serve in a(n) [name of position] capacity at your [type of workplace].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
Because I have developed and produced an informative celebrity-interview show and have done Air Talent shifts at several radio stations, I am confident that I offer the qualities to serve in an Air Talent/Talk Show Host capacity at your station.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #14:
My background in [name of field(s)] closely parallels the profile of a [name of position] with your firm. With more than [number of years] years of progressive [type of experience] experience with leading firms under my belt, I am eager to put my experience to work for your organization.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My background in financial consulting and accounting closely parallels the profile of an investment counselor with your firm. With more than two years of progressive consulting/rep experience with leading firms under my belt, I am eager to put my experience to work for your organization.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #15:
While [description of type of experience] with [name of employer] [timeframe], I cultivated a true passion for the [name of field] that I would like to contribute to [name of employer]. I've developed [relevant trait], I am highly [adjective describing expected characteristic in targeted position], and I stand poised to bring my skills to your fine organization.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
While completing an internship with Vera Wang last year, I cultivated a true passion for the high-end retail fashion sector that I would like to contribute to Moiselle International Limited. I've developed keen fashion instincts, I am highly customer-service oriented, and I stand poised to bring my skills to your fine organization.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #16:
My practical experience in [executing action relevant to targeted position], gained through [type of experience], makes me a genuine asset to your firm in a(n) [type of position].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
My practical experience in international trading between Spain and other countries, gained through running my own international consulting firm, makes me a genuine asset to your firm in an executive position at the international level.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #17:
I am highly motivated to enhance your company's success. I possess the unique combination of both [two types of education or experience]. This background has prepared me well to contribute significantly to your organization. With my [type of experience] experience and knowledge of [type of subject matter], I am well equipped to bring my expertise to your firm.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
I am highly motivated to enhance your company's success. I possess the unique combination of both accounting and law degrees. This background has prepared me well to contribute significantly to your organization. With my accounting experience and knowledge of law, I am well equipped to bring my expertise to your firm.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #18:
I can imagine the many challenges you face that could benefit from my [type of expertise] expertise. Through my initiatives with [type(s) of ventures], I offer an extensive, cutting-edge understanding of the [type of subject matter] and best practices that drive today's businesses. Here's how I could contribute:

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
I can imagine the many challenges you face that could benefit from my IT-management expertise. Through my initiatives with high-tech startups, I offer an extensive, cutting-edge understanding of the technologies and best practices that drive today's businesses. Here's how I could contribute:

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #19:
As you review my resume, you will find my experience and education is commensurate with a position as an [name of position]. [sentence that explains desire to return to former occupation]. My exemplary [type of skill] skills particularly qualify me for a [type of position] position.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
As you review my resume, you will find my experience and education is commensurate with a position as an elementary-school teacher. After many years in positions outside education but directly applicable to teaching, I want to return to my first ambition -- teaching young people. My exemplary classroom-management skills particularly qualify me for a teaching position.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #20:
The combination of my strong [type of experience] background, relevant experience, and interest in [type of subject matter] offers me the unique opportunity to make a positive contribution as a [name of position] at [name of employer].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
The combination of my strong legal background, relevant experience, and interest in human rights offers me the unique opportunity to make a positive contribution as a Legal Officer P-3 at the United Nations.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #21:
I am a seasoned professional, extensively experienced in areas of key interest to [name of employer]. My success had been both internal to the company to which I've contributed and external to clients, customers, and markets. Having produced measurable results in both [name of field] and [name of field], I've determined that I can make the greatest impact by contributing my talents to an organization like yours. I'd like to make that impact in a [name of position] position and bring my success to [name of company].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
I am a seasoned professional, extensively experienced in areas of key interest to Walmart. My success had been both internal to the company to which I've contributed and external to clients, customers, and markets. Having produced measurable results in both supply-chain management and systems engineering, I've determined that I can make the greatest impact by contributing my talents to an organization like yours. I'd like to make that impact in a Supply Chain Director position and bring my success to Walmart.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #22:
Are you seeking an experienced [name of field] professional? Could you use a [name of occupation] whose efforts contributed to [a significant accomplishment with a former employer]? I am that [name of occupation].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
Are you seeking an experienced product-marketing professional? Could you use a marketer whose efforts contributed to a flagship product's 800 percent increase in sales revenues over three years? I am that marketer.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #23:
Everything I've done in my career has sprung from my desire to [execute an action relevant to the targeted position]. My personal goals align with [name of employer]'s mission to [quote from employer's mission statement].

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
Everything I've done in my career has sprung from my desire to empower people and make a difference. My personal goals align with Moorestown College's mission to "encourage students of varied backgrounds and abilities to realize their full intellectual and personal potential so they may gain understanding about themselves, others, and the forces shaping our rapidly changing and pluralistic world."

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #24:
I am highly motivated in the field of [name of field], with [number of years] years of experience in [executing action relevant to targeted position] and more than [number of years] years of [executing action relevant to targeted position]. Through my research, I have learned that [name of employer] is a leader in this rapidly expanding field. I am particularly interested applying my [type of skills] skills and [type of experience] experience to [executing action relevant to targeted position] for your [patients'/customers'/clients'] benefit.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
I am highly motivated in the field of skin care, with six years of experience in giving facials and more than 20 years of providing services to clients. Through my research, I have learned that Dalcrest Cosmetic Surgery is a leader in this rapidly expanding field. I am particularly interested applying my patient/customer-care skills and skin-care experience to providing skincare techniques for your patients' benefit.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #25:
The description of [name of employer] on your Web site leads me to believe that your company and I share a philosophy about [relevant subject matter], [relevant subject matter], and [relevant subject matter]. That's why I'm eager to contribute my experience in [type of experience], combined with a genuine passion for [name of field] and a tremendous admiration for [name of employer], in a(n) [name of position] capacity.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
The description of The Limited on your Web site leads me to believe that your company and I share a philosophy about creativity, fashion, and customer service. That's why I'm eager to contribute my experience in interacting with all kinds of people, combined with a genuine passion for fashion and a tremendous admiration for The Limited, in an Associate capacity.

 

Customizable Opening Paragraph #26:
Having been employed previously by [name of employer], I know firsthand that your [type of organization] is a strong and growing institution in which I could make a valuable contribution, using [type of experience] and [type of experience] experience garnered through both education and experience.

 

Sample customized paragraph based on above:
Having been employed previously by Target, Inc., I know firsthand that your corporation is a strong and growing institution in which I could make a valuable contribution, using management and marketing experience garnered through both education and experience.

 


 

Go back to the main page of Customizable Opening Paragraphs for Job-Seeker Cover Letters.

 


 

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

 

Katharine Hansen, PhD, QuintCareers.com Creative Director Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers, and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.

 


 

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