Sunday, August 25, 2013

Job Hunt 101 - Cover Letter how to?

There will come different scenarios where you need to communicate with people. Writing a letter from scratch every time is time consuming. Having a template and modifying it to suit your purpose saves time and is easier. Here I have suggestions on what templates to prepare and samples.

You need to prepare templates for

    * Cover letter,
    * An email cover letter and
    * A linkedin inmail if you plan to use linkedin.

COVER LETTERThe cover letter can be in the doc or pdf format, doc is preferable as computerised searches are done in doc files. Having a cover letter helps you in the following ways

  1. When computer searches for relevant terms, chances are that it might find it in your cover letter if not on the resume. So do not replicate the resume data in the cover letter. Use the cover letter to compliment your resume.
  2. If it passes through the computer search and your resume is visible to recruiter/HR, they will read your cover letter to understand better your qualifications.
  3. It can help the hiring manager asses your strengths and if written well, is a showcase of your writing skills.

The cover letter can be a page long with 3-4 paragraphs. You need to begin with your interest in the company, the position you are applying for and how you came to know about this position. Here is a comprehensive tutorial on writing cover letters.


You might have to send emails to recruiters, HR, hiring manager, people you know, people you find in etc when you are forwarding your resume. Say you come across a position that interests you in, you find the email of the person posting the resume. It is advantageous to fill in the DICE application form and also send in your resume to the email address mentioned.

An email cover letter would help you introduce yourself and pique the hiring person's interest in you. It cannot be long winding stories it has to be precise and sharp. My cover letter had been evolving over the period of my application, the format I used is
  • A sentence describing the position I am applying for, the company; expressing my interest
  • A sentence on my work experience
  • 3-4 bullet points showing a few project experience. PLEASE NOTE I use the terms that are mentioned in the job description in these points so as to build interest in my profile. These are the terms the recruiter will be looking for.
  • My interest in talking to him
  • signature and dont forget the PHONE NUMBER


I would like to express my interest in a position as anPOSITION at your company. My experience as POSITION 1 for 3 years and POSITION 2 for 2 years has provided me with the necessary skills required for the job. I am listing a few of them here

  • Implemented Test Access Mechanism (TAM) and TPM (security hardware) onto openSPARCT1 SoC, contains more than a million lines of verilog RTL, used modelSIM, Synopsys design compiler, place and route. Synopsys Prime Time
  • Developed a complete System on chip - obstacle avoidance SoC, integrated open8, memory and a custom developed processor. Used Cadence tools - RTL Compiler, Virtuoso. LVS and DRC done.
  • Developed Design for Test (DFT) hardware to detect small delay defects.
  • Published 3 papers in international conferences.

I would like to talk to you regarding the position. Thank you very much for your time.
Phone Number

This must not be wordy and must be precise since the person you are sending it to is assumed to know what he is looking for. Use the same format as email cover letter but put in relevant points without too much technical terms. Follow the cause action result format.

Dear hiring manager,

I came across a requirement for a POSITION at your company and I feel I am a good fit for this position.

  • 3 years experience as a EE Engieer with a masters in computer engineering from University (GPA 3.7/4).
  • Developed a Test access mechanism for System on Chips that reduced yield loss from >5% to 0.1%
  • Developed Design for Testability hardware that improved error coverage for small delay defects from 80% to 94%
  • Experienced in JTAG boundary scan 1149.1, BIST, MBIST, SoC Testing 1500, low power design techniques, asynchronous design techniques. Knowledge on Automatic Test Equipments (ATE).

I would like to be considered for this position. Kindly have a look at my profile.

Thank you for your time.
Phone number

Having these ready will make it easier to communicate with people.

Best of luck.

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