The 50/50 Rule: How To Write The Perfect Cover Letter

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

One thing people forget to focus on in creating their resume is the cover letter, which comes along with the resume. The cover letter is a medium where you can incite passion and show why you really want to work for a company. I follow a simple rule: the cover letter should have a 50/50 percent mix. 50% of the cover letter should talk about why you want to join a company,and the remaining 50% should talk about why the company should hire you.

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One thing people forget to focus on in creating their resume is the cover letter, which comes along with the resume. The cover letter is a medium where you can incite passion and show why you really want to work for a company. I follow a simple rule: the cover letter should have a 50/50 percent mix. 50% of the cover letter should talk about why you want to join a company,and the remaining 50% should talk about why the company should hire you.

Many times applicants make the mistake of making the cover letter extremely company-heavy or applicant-heavy. They go about repeating points from their resume in the cover letter and don't add any value to it. At the other extreme, they may talk about the company and forget to sell their own story. Have a 50/50 mix of focuses. Spend half the time selling yourself to the company and the other half talking about why you think the company is a good fit for you.

I've gone down the risky path of being innovative and honest in my cover letters. My Parthenon cover letter was genuine and entertaining while still mature and formal. When I was recruited, I was told that I had one of the most interesting cover letters. Clearly, since I got the job, they meant interesting in a good way; however, there was a good chance that some of them might have thought that was a little too entertaining. Make sure you are selling both yourself and the company in the cover letter; talk about why they should hire you and why you think the company is a good fit for you.
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