The Format of a Perfect Cover Letter

The Format of a Perfect Cover Letter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses how to create a perfect cover letter.


I want to talk with you about effective cover letters, getting to the point very quickly and demonstrated (if you are submitting your resume for a role) that you fit the job that you are applying for. Here’s the basic format of a cover letter:

Paragraph/Sentence one: I’m forwarding my resume to you because I understand you are trying to hire for a (fill in the blank). That can be the job title with some of the details of the position. For example, a software engineer with C++ in a pharmaceutical environment. I noticed a few major points of in the description; let me show you how a matchup.

Then you go through the requirements of the job, as well as the functionality of the position and how you match up. Next, you set up columns. Toward the left, you have a requirement; for example, C++. To the right, you have how long and how recently he worked with it. Again, let’s say it C++, you might write, “four years. Current.” The line might have the next point of the requirements. The next line would say, “three years. Current.”

Eventually, you get to the functionality that they are asked to perform. Again, you do the same thing.

Thus, in your cover letter, you’re making the case for how you fit the requirements and functionality that the company is asking for and that you will be performing. From there, you have to make sure that some of these points, if not all these points, or mentioned in your resume because if it is inconsistent, it will cause the employer to hesitate. This is where resume tailoring comes in handy.

Again, the format is very simple: I’m forwarding my resume to you because I understand you’re trying to hire for such and such. This is how my background matches up with what you’re looking for and what you be asking someone to do. Flush left. Flush right.

If you conclude by saying something to the effect of, “I look forward to hearing from you and meeting with you to discuss the opportunity with you,” or “I’ll follow up with you in the next few days if I don’t hear from you.” Something along these lines that ties the bow. Then you sign it.

Now, to be real clear, you don’t send this as a separate attachment. Put in the body of your email because no one wants to open up a second file with a know your resume is there. Laid out right in front of them so that when they open up the message and, trust me, will read it


Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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