Surefire Cover-Letter Technique: Stories That Reveal Personality

This article details one of the types of stories job-seekers can tell in a cover letter and provides examples of how to tell that type of story for job-search success.

Stories that Reveal your Personality.

These are stories that inspire the employer to want to get to know you better and thus call you in for an interview. They could demonstrate your sense of humor, your work ethic, your compassion, or simply your humanity. They paint a meaningful picture of who you are:

I am a builder. I don’t mean with hammer and nails, although I enjoy that kind of building, too. At my last employer, I built three organizations that filled specific niches within the parent company. I defined the departments’ roles, hired and trained more than 300 team members, and then built the capability. I found it equally rewarding to improve those organizations by adding systems and processes so the teams were recognized for their contribution. I applied my creativity, leadership and ability to navigate complex and abstract problems.

I admit it. I’m a psychology geek. I have always had an interest in where our behaviors, thoughts, and personalities come from. Since I can remember, I would be in the library sifting through the philosophy and psychology shelves. I am an enthusiastic learner and problem solver. I am patient and compassionate and tend to make others feel at ease. I don’t judge people based on their successes; rather, I see trials and past experiences as an opportunity for growth and empathy.

I would describe myself as a consistently positive person. My friends sometimes ask me how I can be so energetic. I’m proud of my efforts to pursue my dream of being a clinical dietitian. As you can see from my resume, I changed my career to become a dietitian. I had an interest in food and nutrition since I was a little girl and helped to develop recipes for patients who required food restriction. I strengthened my interest in clinical nutrition as I learned about the field on my own. When I found how clinical nutrition therapy functioned as a preventive medicine, I decided to become a registered dietitian.

I once read that experience working in an insane asylum or as an animal trainer or juggler provides the best background for working as a graphic artist at a design firm. Frankly, I haven’t had any of those experiences, but I thrive on the pressure of a fast-paced and intense environment and can juggle several projects simultaneously. My fresh and innovative design skills, along with total Macintosh and PC proficiency make me the graphic artist you’ve been looking for.

In your opener, you can also introduce the idea that you will be revealing more of your personality in the letter:

A resume can tell you only the bare bones of my story. This letter is to help you get to know me.

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