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It is for a cover letter, where I want to express my interest in the position and also to indicate that my profile matches the requirement.

I find the proposed job interesting and matched by my profile and career goal.

First, does "I find the proposed job interesting" sound too ego-centric?

Second, shall I break the sentence into two or keep it compact in one?

Third, any better way for saying that my profile meets their requirements?

Any help on any of these questions will be appreciated.

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Off-topic - too much like proof-reading for me. –  FumbleFingers Feb 22 '12 at 4:30
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4 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Oh my. About the only thing good I can say about your cover letter is that you knew to ask for help.

Your original statement doesn't convey what it literally says. The primary point any reader is going to take away is "English is not my first language and I have difficulty communicating."

masarah's improvement is... an improvement. But it's not going to get you the job in a competitive market. The awkward word choice and sentence construction is gone, although it still is passive and overly wordy. Worse, it still gives the distinct impression that you're sending the same cover letter to dozens of companies, and probably didn't even read the requirements that you say you meet.

The primary problem is that you're trying to evaluate your own suitability for the position. That simply won't fly. For one thing, it implies that the recruiter or HR department is redundant, which is going to make a bad impression on the first person to see your resume, even if it were true. Bigger issue: why would they trust your assessment, since you're obviously biased (you want them to offer you the job).

My high school English teacher (English is my first language, so this was a writing course, not a foreign language course) gave the advice "show, don't tell", and this applies in this situation.

Don't tell them "My profile matches the requirements." or "My experience matches the requirements." Instead pull a couple highlights from your resume that you feel give you the necessary background, and say something like "I look forward to applying my experience taking notes in class to making sure your medical records are clear and concise and don't miss any important details." Of course, you should talk about your actual experience and the tasks that you will do in the position you are applying for.

Same thing goes for expressing interest in the position. You did some research on what the company does, right? You don't want to say, "I'm interested in this position because it meets my career goals." Instead, "I'm excited about joining your team that is on the cutting edge of research in whatever." or "I feel that the work your company does in providing education to the unemployed is vitally important. I would love to help give people a second chance at life."

Make it specific to the work this position entails, and your prior related experience. Let them draw the conclusion that you're a good fit.

If you want to make it easy for the recruiter to check that you meet the requirements, use a highlighter on your resume. But that's not what a cover letter is for.

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I want to make the opening neat and give details in the following paragraph. Sometimes what I want it is "to show briefly", but what I get is "to tell". Good advices, I will try to apply them on my cover letter. –  zhanwu Apr 27 '11 at 13:50
    
"I am a postgraduate student looking for a PhD position. I have a master's degree in Robotics, 1 year of experience in POMDP after graduating and advanced programming skill in C++ and python, thereby I believe that I am a great candidate for the proposed PhD position in Developmental Autonomous Robots." Is this anyhow better? –  zhanwu Apr 27 '11 at 14:04
    
@zhan: Wait, you're trying to get into a PhD degree program? And applying for a research fellowship? I've never heard that called a "PhD position". Or you will be finishing your PhD shortly and are applying for a position that requires it? Also, the "position" is not "proposed". If they've gone to the effort of listing it, the position exists and they're trying to find someone to fill it. –  Ben Voigt Apr 27 '11 at 14:49
    
I am trying to get into a a PhD degree program. And in Europe it is commonly called "a PhD position", at least by those professors who post advertisement in mailing list. –  zhanwu Apr 27 '11 at 15:20
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Seems like you could have made the same point without the first four paragraphs. –  Phil Apr 27 '11 at 15:32
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You don't need to explicitly express interest in a position. Your sending an application does that. You also don't need to say that your profile matches the requirements -- your CV says that.

A cover letter is an opportunity to tell the employer something about yourself that isn't on your resume in a way that may lead to your employment. How a cover letter is received depends on who receives it -- you never know what a reader will find compelling. Still, you should try to be personal because it shows that you have something unique to say and can be a platform for your writing, which can be a draw to some employers regardless of other skills.

Talk about why you are interested in a PhD position. Talk about how your interest in the field came about - what made it attractive to you. Talk about your strengths with examples that set you apart from others. If there are specific requirements for the job, try to show how you meet those requirements if it isn't clear from your CV. Brag a little. Let your personality shine through.

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I think I would change it to something more like:

"I find the position very interesting and suitable for my career goal(s). I also believe that I am a great candidate, and that my education and experience matches the requirements."

That is longer, but also more positive.

I definitely don't think you are being ego-centric when mentioning that you find the job interesting - that's exactly what they want from someone.

Good luck.

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Thanks for your suggestion. –  zhanwu Apr 27 '11 at 11:05
    
Hmm. In this context, "goal(s)" is rather informal, "great candidate" sounds a bit "flip", and the verb form should be "match", not "matches". If I wanted the job, I don't think your second sentence would help me get it. –  FumbleFingers Feb 22 '12 at 4:27
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The following is personal experience, not an always-going-to-work-100%-of-the-time type answer.

I've always found that people-people (people-persons?) get more jobs, money, women... everything. So in your cover letter you should appear outgoing, friendly and exciting about working in such an exciting role!

Last month I applied for a few jobs. I was interviewed for 5 and offered 2 of them - not bad. Here are my opening lines for the winning cover letters:

Hi,

Your job ad interests me. I'm an experienced...

That one's got me a couple of interviews, but this next one is even better. Historically, this one has got me an interview 20% of the time or more!

Hi,

Wow! I'm perfect for this role! I'm an experienced...

... these are so good you should be paying me. At least give me an up-vote!

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wow, your answer is the anti-cover letter... the last line convinced me not to up-vote you... –  Harsh Sep 11 '12 at 13:56
    
... maybe things are different in India. But over here in developed nations, this works. I've had 6 or 7 interviews (and turned down others) and been offered 3 jobs - all this year. –  Coomie Sep 12 '12 at 1:08
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