Cover Letter First Sentence Accounting Principals

In this post we’ll cover how to write and format a cover letter that lands you more interviews. We’ll also provide a good example of a cover letter as well as our easy to follow cover letter sample template that works for any position.

A well written cover letter can help boost your chances of landing an interview and ultimately landing the job. Many job seekers either neglect to write one, or write one that’s ineffective.

 

#1 – Understand the Function of a Cover Letter

A cover letter is sometimes the first thing an employer sees and you want to be sure you make a good impression. A mediocre cover letter can do more harm than good so make sure your cover letter is in top shape to help you land the interview.

This easy to follow cover letter guide will give you all the information you need on how to write a cover letter that will land you more interviews.

Do you need to send a cover letter?

Yes. The majority of experts agree that a cover letter, if written well, is an excellent opportunity to sum up your resume and help you land an interview. It could also be useful for explaining employment gaps and time off from work.

How long should a cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be approximately 2-3 paragraphs. Try to keep it to half or two-thirds of a page long.

Why?

Because no recruiter or employer wants to read a long cover letter. Remember, they just glance over your resume and cover letter for a few seconds so you must capture their attention with short, clear and concise points.

Do you need to include your address on a cover letter?

You don’t need to include your address on a cover letter. You should only include the address of the employer. Your resume contains your address so there is no need to repeat it on your cover letter.

#2 – Understand the Topics to Cover

There are certain things that need to be included in your cover letter to make it stand out.

What should be included in a cover letter?

  • Who you are
  • Interest in the job
  • Why you’re a good fit for the job
  • Contact Information
  • Address any employment gaps

Your cover letter should discuss who you are, your interest in the job and why you would be a great fit for the position. You should also include a contact number and an email address on the cover letter.

This should be included in both an industry specific or generic cover letter.

Let’s take a look at how a cover letter should be formatted and then we’ll discuss details on what to include and not to include in it:

#3 – Appropriately Format Your Cover Letter

So there you see a good cover letter template. Lets see that template in action with a good example.

Here is a great example of a good cover letter:

 

 

This is a great example of a very clean, short and effective cover letter. It is tailored for a specific position and contains a few principles you MUST include in your cover letter.

It doesn’t matter what your industry or experience level is, you need to keep these principles in mind when writing your cover letter:

  • Who you are – This goes without saying. Discuss a little about you and your qualifications but don’t go into too much depth. Remember, you want to lead them into your resume by displaying a compelling case as to why you’re a good candidate. This is usually done through quantifiable or measurable achievements which show how you went above and beyond.
  • How you can benefit them – This is important because it’s essentially what the employer cares about. This is psychological as well. If you have ever read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence people, you know that people care about what benefits them, not you. Mention what makes you a great candidate through your prior experience or education and how it will benefit them.
  • Call to action – You need to give the reader a call to action. In the case of a cover letter, this call to action is the scheduling of an interview. Yes, I know they’re not stupid and understand the point of a cover letter is to get an interview. The reasoning behind this is that it shows confidence and a real desire for the position. The call to action should be included in the end of cover letter. Be sure to include your contact info and ask the employer to contact you to schedule an interview.

So there you have it, this should give you a good idea about what you need to do to write a solid cover letter.
There are just a few more tips you need to know when writing your cover letter.

 



10 Tips for an Awesome Cover Letter

 

  1. Cover letter opening – Don’t use “To whom it may concern”, you need to find the name of the hiring manager in charge.
    This could be a difficult task for someone applying to many jobs online. It may take some time, but you can find the name of the person in charge of hiring online or even by calling the company. If you’re unsuccessful in finding the name, then you can resort to saying “Dear hiring manager”. If you do find the name, be sure to address them as “Mr” or “Ms”.
  2. Don’t copy your resume – Your cover letter should not contain the same information that’s on your resume. Many people copy a few lines from resume work experience and place it on the resume – this is incorrect. Use your work experience and expand on it -Example: In my last position, I cut costs down by 40% in three years and I’m confident that I can bring the knowledge and skills I have gained to your company.You’re able to express your skills and experience in a way that’s just not possible on your resume. You cover letter can and should go beyond the typical bulleted work experience on a resume.
  3. Customize your cover letter – Don’t have just one generic cover letter that you send for each opening. Ensure your cover letter is customized for each position. As seen in our cover letter format, you should include the name of the company, position and highlight the skills that are most relevant to that position.
  4. Include numbers where possible – It’s been proven that numbers catch the attention of the reader. You should try to quantify your work experience wherever possible.Increased Sales by 43%…
    Managed a sales team of 15…
    Increased revenue by $500,000… Not only does it catch attention, it also shows you’re an achiever rather than just showing you complete everyday tasks.Example: “Increased sales by 35% by implementing a PPC marketing campaign”.This is much more effective than just saying: “Used PPC marketing to increase sales”.
  5. Show how the employer will benefit – You need to show the employer how your skills and experience will benefit them. Do this by stating it directly -For Example – “I am confident that my skills and experience would be of great benefit to your company”.Don’t write a cover letter around why this job would be good for you. They don’t care.
  6. Write in a friendly tone – You shouldn’t sound like a robot on your cover letter. You want to portray someone who has the hard skills to complete the job, but you should also come across as friendly and someone co-workers would get along with. Do this by using natural language and avoiding a template like cover letter. Use words like “you” and “your” often as it makes it more personal. Works like “confident” and “excited” also add more of a human touch to your cover letter.
  7. Spell check – You need to ensure there are no grammatical errors on your resume. This is one of the biggest red flags for an employer. Read it over a few times and even have a friend or proofreader look over it.
  8. Send the correct file type – Read the job description thoroughly and follow the instructions on which file type to submit your resume in. Generally, it will ask you to send either a PDF or Microsoft Word document. If there are no instructions as to the file type, your safest bet is sending a Word document. When sending a Word document, use a .Doc format and not a .Docx which is the newer format.
  9. Name your cover letter correctly – We’ve seen many people make the mistake of not including the proper name for their cover letter. Simply writing “Cover Letter” is not sufficient, you need to include your name as well.Example: John.Cover.Letter.doc
  10. Explain employment gaps – Your cover letter is the best place to explain large employment gaps in your resume. If you took time off to raise kids or went back to school, mention it in the cover letter.“After taking some time off to care for my child, I’m excited to return to the workforce as an auditor”.


    Getting your cover letter past Applicant Tracking Systems

The last thing we’re going to cover is getting your cover letter through an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). The majority of companies use applicant tracking systems to screen resumes and cover letters.

The software analyzes those resumes it thinks are a good match for the position and forwards them to the hiring manager. Even though most of the emphasis is on the resume, it’s also important to include keywords on your cover letter.

See this guide on getting your resume past Applicant Tracking Systems.

Don’t attempt to stuff your cover letter with keywords. Look at the job description to see what the major keywords are. Be sure to include the title of the position on the cover letter and maybe even a few of the qualifications.

For example, if a position is open for an auditor and one of the major qualifications is to be CPA certified – mention both “CPA” and “Accountant”.

“I am a Certified Public Accountant with 13 years of experience working as an auditor”.

Thank you for reading our guide and we hope that it helps you write an awesome cover letter. Remember that your cover letter should introduce who you are and your interest in the position. It should entice the employer to read into your resume and eventually extend an interview.

It’s also important to have a solid resume that gets past resume screeners and effectively portrays your abilities to the reader.

That’s where we come in – Zipjob offers resume services that are guaranteed to land you more interviews. Check out our services to learn more. We even offer a Free Resume Review.
Good luck with your job search!

*Bonus – Check out this article of the 8 most common cover letter mistakes people make.

 

Video Recap:

 

Cover letter header:

Your Name

City, State | Contact Number | Email

Receiver’s Name, Title

Company Name

Address

Paragraph 1 – This paragraph should be an introduction to who you are and the position you’re applying for. (Include where or how you found the opening. The title and a job ID # if there is one.) You should also lead into the next paragraph by stating a brief summary of qualifications or your interest in the position.

Paragraph 2 – The second paragraph should discuss your qualifications and the achievements which show why you’re a good fit for the position.

Remember that you want to stand out from the other hundreds of candidates that are applying for the position. So don’t just give examples of what you did in your last position, show how you went above and beyond. Mention a few examples of quantifiable or measurable achievements in your career.

Use compelling language and don’t repeat the information in your resume. Try to bring your experience to life and this will encourage the reader to look into your resume in more detail.

Paragraph 3 – Close out the paragraph by saying you feel that you’re a good fit for the position based on your qualifications.

Remember, you should include a call of action – which in this case would be inviting you to an interview.

Ask them to give you call and schedule in interview.

The last thing you should do is thank them for taking the time out to consider you.

Sincerely,
Your Name

John Smith

Newark, New Jersey | 862-888-2222 | J.Smith@gmail.com

Susan Johnson

Recruiting Manager

XYZ Accounting

10 Oak Drive

Newark NJ

Dear Ms. Johnson,

I’m writing to you to express my interest in the Accounting position you have open on your company website with the job ID# 11220. I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and am confident that my experience and skill set would be a great match for this position.

I have strong knowledge of accounting principles backed by experience I have gained in the last 12 years. In my previous position, I managed the accounting of a financial consulting firm with over $30 million in revenue. I not only met expectations but exceeded them by increasing cash flow by $4 million. I helped achieve this by changing our accounts receivable policy and negotiating better contracts. There is more depth on my experience and skills in my resume which I would appreciate you looking over.

I am certain that my experience and skill set would make me a great candidate for this position as well as a great asset to your company. Please give me a call at the number above to schedule an interview at your convenience. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

John Smith

Traditional cover letter wisdom tells you to start a cover letter with something to the effect of:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to apply for the position of Marketing Manager with the Thomas Company.

We say: The days of cookie cutter cover letter intros are long gone.

Here’s the thing: Your cover letter is the best way to introduce to the hiring manager who you are, what you have to offer, and why you want the job—but you have an extremely limited amount of time to do all of those things. So, if you really want to get noticed, you’ve got to start right off the bat with something that grabs your reader’s attention.

What do we mean? Well, we won’t just tell you, we’ll show you—with 31 examples of original cover letter introductions. We don’t recommend copying and pasting them because, well, your cover letter should be unique to your stories, background, and interests, but you can most definitely use them to get inspired for your next application.

Don't worry—we've got you covered.

Career Coach to the rescue!

Start With a Passion

Many companies say that they’re looking for people who not only have the skills to do the job, but who are truly passionate about what they’re spending their time on every day. If that’s what your dream company is really looking for (hint: read the job description), try an intro that shows off why you’re so excited to be part of the team.

  1. If truly loving data is wrong, I don’t want to be right. It seems like the rest of the team at Chartbeat feels the same way—and that’s just one of the reasons why I think I’d be the perfect next hire for your sales team.
  2. I’ve been giving my friends and family free style advice since I was 10, and recently decided it’s time I get paid for it. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when I found a personal stylist position at J. Hilburn.

  3. After about three years of trying out different roles at early-stage startups around San Francisco, watching more “find your passion” keynotes than I’d like to admit, and assuring my parents that, yes, I really do have a real job, I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I’m only really good at two things: writing great content and getting it out into the world.

  4. When I was growing up, all I wanted to be was one of those people who pretend to be statues on the street. Thankfully, my career goals have become a little more aspirational over the years, but I love to draw a crowd and entertain the masses—passions that make me the perfect community manager.

  5. When I graduated from Ohio State last May, my career counselor gave me what I consider to be some pretty bad advice: “Just get any job, and figure the rest out later.” While I think I could have gained good transferrable skills and on-the-job experience anywhere, I wanted to make sure my first step gave me opportunities for professional development, mentorship, and rotations through different departments. Enter: Verizon.

  6. The other day, I took a career assessment, which told me I should be a maritime merchant. I’m not quite sure what that is, but it did get me thinking: A role that combines my skills in business development with my lifelong passion for the ocean would be my absolute dream. Which is how I found this role at Royal Caribbean.

Start With Your Love for the Company

Similarly, many companies want to hire people who already know, love, eat, and sleep their brand. And in these cases, what better to kick off your cover letter than a little flattery? Bonus points if you can tell a story—studies show that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone.

Of course, remember when you’re telling a company why you love it to be specific and genuine. Because, um, no one likes an overly crazed fangirl.

  1. I pretty much spent my childhood in the cheap seats at Cubs games, snacking on popcorn and cheering on the team with my grandfather. It’s that passion that’s shaped my career—from helping to establish the sports marketing major at my university to leading a college baseball team to an undefeated season as assistant coach—and what led me to apply for this position at the Chicago Cubs.
  2. Most candidates are drawn to startups for the free food, bean bag chairs, and loose dress code. And while all of those things sound awesome coming from my all-too-corporate cubicle, what really attracted me to Factual is the collaborative, international team.

  3. It was Rudy, my Golden Retriever, who first found the operations assistant opening (he’s really excited about the prospect of coming to work with me every day). But as I learned more about Zoosk and what it is doing to transform the mobile dating space, I couldn’t help but get excited to be part of the team, too.

  4. When I was seven, I wanted to be the GEICO gecko when I grew up. I eventually realized that wasn’t an option, but you can imagine my excitement when I came across the events manager position, which would have me working side by side with my favorite company mascot.

  5. When I attended Austin Film Festival for the first time last month, I didn’t want to leave. So I decided I shouldn’t—and immediately went to check out job openings at the company.

  6. If I could make the NYC apartment rental process better for just one person, I would feel like the horrors of my recent search would all be worth it. So, a customer service role at RentHop, where I could do it every day? I can’t think of anything more fulfilling.

  7. Having grown up with the Cincinnati Zoo (literally) in my backyard, I understand firsthand how you’ve earned your reputation as one of the most family-friendly venues in the State of Ohio. For 20 years, I’ve been impressed as your customer; now I want to impress visitors in the same way your team has so graciously done for me. (Via @JobJenny)

  8. I was an hour out from my first big dinner party when I realized I had forgotten to pick up the white wine. In a panic, I started Googling grocery delivery services, and that’s when I first stumbled across Instacart. I’ve been hooked ever since, so I couldn’t help but get excited by the idea of bringing the amazingness of Instacart to shoddy planners like me as your next social media and community manager.

  9. Though I’m happily employed as a marketing manager for OHC, seeing the job description for Warby Parker’s PR director stopped me in my tracks. I’ve been a Warby glasses wearer for many years, and have always been impressed by the way the company treats its customers, employees, and the community at large.

Start With an Attribute or Accomplishment

The unfortunate reality of the job hunting process is that, for any given job, you’re going to be competing with a lot of other people—presumably, a lot of other similarly qualified people. So, a great way to stand out in your cover letter is to highlight something about yourself—a character trait, an accomplishment, a really impressive skill—that’ll quickly show how you stand out among other applications.

  1. My last boss once told me that my phone manner could probably diffuse an international hostage situation. I’ve always had a knack for communicating with people—the easygoing and the difficult alike—and I’d love to bring that skill to the office manager position at Shutterstock.
  2. Among my colleagues, I’m known as the one who can pick up the pieces, no matter what amount of you-know-what hits the fan. Which is why I think there’s no one better to fill Birchbox’s customer service leader position.

  3. Last December, I ousted our company’s top salesperson from his spot—and he hasn’t seen it since. Which means, I’m ready for my next big challenge, and the sales manager role at LivingSocial just might be it.

  4. After spending three years managing the internal communications for a 2,000-person company, I could plan a quarterly town hall or draft an inter-office memo in my sleep. What I want to do next? Put that experience to work consulting executives on their communications strategy.

  5. While you won’t find the title “community manager” listed on my resume, I’ve actually been bringing people together online and off for three years while running my own blog and series of Meetups.

  6. If you’re looking for someone who can follow orders to the T and doesn’t like to rock the boat, I’m probably not the right candidate. But if you need someone who can dig in to data, see what’s working (and what’s not), and challenge the status quo, let’s talk.

  7. Ever since my first job at Dairy Queen (yes, they DO let you eat the ice cream!) I’ve been career-focused. I completed my first internship with a professional football team while I was still in college. I was hired full-time as soon as I graduated, and within six months I was promoted into a brand new department. I thought I knew it all. But as I’ve progressed in my career, I finally realized…I absolutely do not. Shocker, right? Enter The Muse. (Via @Kararuns729).

  8. You might be wondering what a 15-year veteran of the accounting world is doing applying to an operations role at a food startup like ZeroCater. While I agree the shift is a little strange, I know you’re looking for someone who’s equal parts foodie and financial guru, and I think that means I’m your guy.

  9. Over the last 10 years, I’ve built my career on one simple principle: Work smarter. I’m the person who looks for inefficient procedures, finds ways to streamline them, and consistently strives to boost the productivity of everyone around me. It’s what’s earned me three promotions in the supply chain department at my current company, and it’s what I know I can do as the new operations analyst for SevOne.

Start With Humor or Creativity

OK, before you read any of these, we feel we have to stamp them with a big disclaimer: Do your homework before trying anything like this—learning everything you can about the company, the hiring manager, and whether or not they’ll appreciate some sass or snark. If they do, it’s a great way to make them smile (then call you). If they don’t? Well, better luck next time.

  1. I’m interested in the freelance writer position. But before I blow you away with all the reasons I’m going to be your next writer, I would like to tell you a little about myself: I didn’t grow hair until I was about five years old, which made everyone who crossed my stroller’s path believe me to be a boy (my name is Casey, which definitely didn’t help). Hope I got your attention. (Via @CaseCav)
  2. Have you ever had your mom call five times a day asking for a status update on how your job search is going, and then sounding incredulous that not more progress has been made since the last phone call? That’s my life right now. But I’m hoping that soon my life will revolve around being your full-time social media manager. The good news is, I bring more to the table than just an overbearing mom. Let me tell you more.

  3. Thank you so much for offering me the marketing manager position at Airbnb! I wholeheartedly accept. OK, I know we’re not quite there yet. But if we were, here are just a few ideas of what I would do once in the role.

  4. You’ve slept on it. You’ve made lists of pros and cons. You’ve talked to your life coach, your hairdresser, and every barista on your block. So why haven’t you made your decision yet? When you’re looking for advice, what you need is not more, but better. If you’re constantly plagued with tough career decisions and presentation-day butterflies, you need an advocate, a listener, and sometimes, a kick in the pants. You need Rachel Elizabeth Maley. (Via @RE_Maley)

  5. I considered submitting my latest credit card statement as proof of just how much I love online shopping, but I thought a safer approach might be writing this cover letter, describing all the reasons why I’m the girl who can take STYLIGHT’s business to the next level.

  6. I never thought that accidentally dropping my iPhone out of a second story window would change my life (it’s a funny story—ask me about it). But thanks to my misfortune, I discovered iCracked—and found my dream job as an expansion associate.

  7. If we were playing “Two Truths and a Lie,” I’d say the following: I’ve exceeded my sales quotas by at least 20% every quarter this year, I once won an international pie-eating contest, and I have an amazing job at Yext. The last, of course, is the lie. For now.



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