July 08, 2005

The Meat: Accomplishments

The body of the coverletter should be 3 to 5 bullet points showing how you have completed projects, saved money, or earned money for the companies you've worked for. Stick away from purely skill oriented bullet points. Those belong on the resume. Size and scope of the companies is appropriate but shouldn't be the focus, your accomplishments should be.

For example:

While serving in a public relations and corporate communications capacity my accomplishments included:

(or simply "Some Accomplishments Include:")
  • Led the team to launch a new awareness campaign for the counter water utilities. Project was completed underbudget and ontime. Net result was a water savings of 15% from the previous year.
  • Won a Clio award in 2003 for advertisement on X.
  • Researched and wrote speaches for Department of Power Executives.
  • etc.
Always tailor the accomplishments to the position you're applying to. To that end, I recommend developing a list of 10-15 accomplishments you can substitute in and out of the coverletter based on what industry, position, or skill level the job you're seeking requires.

A great accomplishment list gives the reader a reason to turn the page to your resume and check that the experience matches the requirements of the position. But you've already shown that you're a do-er and sometimes that's enough to score an interview.