How to Write a Cover Letter That SELLS!

Your cover letter is your magic bullet. Plain and simple.

Your resume contains the facts about your life’s work experience and education.

Who – What – When – Where – Why –How.

But…the cover letter is your SALES page.

You must PROMOTE YOURSELF in order to sell your services.

A good cover letter:

  • demonstrates your creativity
  • shows your proficiency in your native language
  • gives a project manager an idea of your personality.

If done right…it makes your perspective client WANT TO HIRE YOU because they feel like they know you.

What to Include

  1. Knowledge of the Languages in the project.
  2. Expertise in your native tongue.
  3. Understanding of the project in general
  4. Specific knowledge of the company
  5. Your commitment to customer service and deadlines
  6. General knowledge of software and any specific computer skills you have
  7. Why you are a PERFECT FIT.

A Sample Cover Letter

Here is a good example of a cover letter for a pipeline project in Canada.


Dear Ms. Cavenaugh:

I contacted you yesterday on Twitter about the Energy East Pipeline in Quebec and am following up with my resume attached to this email for your review. I am excited about the prospect of working on the translation of technical manuals and administrative material from French to English.

Since I was raised in Quebec by American parents, I have near native competency in French and an Associate Degree in American Literature from an American College. I am confident that I can accurately translate a high volume of material in a timely manner.

I have been a Freelance Translator for 2 years and have completed several multi-month projects. As my resume shows, I have worked for companies in Canada, the United States, French Guiana and Cameroon. I have letters of recommendation from all of them, which I can make available to you.

To expand on some of the highlights on my resume.

  • Delivered a “rush” 25,000 word project for (telecommunications) 5 days before the deadline with <.1% errors.
  • Received Canadian Security Intelligence Service “Enhanced Reliability Status” ERS  clearance in order to translate sensitive material for a Canadian government contractor.
  • Received Canadian Translation Bureau –text Evaluation certificate.
  • Volunteered to translate Métis French medical documents for the World Health Organization and received Community Health Care Award.

It is worth mentioning that my maternal uncle is Vice Minister of Energy in British Columbia, giving me some insider knowledge of this pipeline project and a source of information, if needed. 

With my varied background, English/French abilities and attention to details and timelines, I am in a position to greatly benefit this project.

I look forward to discussing my qualifications and your project in more detail.


Dirk Windham


Some Things to Remember

Spell check your letter and resume carefully.

One lonely typo can cost you the job.

Remember, among other things, you are selling you attention to detail.

Avoid repeating words…use a thesaurus to come up with a better word.

An email format is  generally as accepted as an attached cover letter nowadays.

Don’t embellish and whatever you do…don’t lie. Instead, accentuate your strengths.


Cover Letters that Sizzle

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