Customize Your Cover Letter to the Ad

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Electrician's Mate 1st Class Charles L. Houston speaks with Martin D. Gillium, a Norfolk Naval Shipyard engineer technician, about career opportunities during a Shipmates to Workmates career forum at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
Electrician's Mate 1st Class Charles L. Houston speaks with Martin D. Gillium, a Norfolk Naval Shipyard engineer technician, about career opportunities during a Shipmates to Workmates career forum at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. (Lauren Randall/U.S. Navy photo)

Found the perfect job through an ad? Before you whisk off your resume and cover letter, study the ad and determine how your qualifications match the employer's requirements. Armed with this information, you can craft a cover letter positioning yourself as the ideal candidate.

For example, look at this sample job ad:

Outside Sales Rep

Our client, a fast-growing, Staten Island, N.Y.-based software company, has an opening for an outside sales professional.

Requirements:

  • A minimum of 3 years' outside business-to-business experience selling enterprise software
  • The ability to develop a list of prospects, build a pipeline of opportunities and close business
  • A proven background working within a quota and exceeding sales targets
  • Ability to demonstrate software and manage a complex sales cycle
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Availability to travel at least 50%
  • Bachelor's degree preferred

Compensation:

  • Competitive base salary, plus commission and company car.
  • Average first-year income $85K+.
  • Full benefits
  • Quarterly sales contests

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