Cover Letter Effectiveness Test

Quick Tip: Cover Letter Effectiveness Test


I’m often asked how to tell if a cover letter is good. My answer is simple: Did you get them at “hello,” or did you bore them to tears?

Watch this two-minute video where I explain why telling a story as the opening to your cover letter will draw the reader in. It’s the best way to “hook” the hiring manager into checking out your credentials.

You are 10X more likely to get considered for the job if you pass my cover letter effectiveness test!

Your Next Step

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. You must invest time in learning the right way to job search.

I just finished four new training videos for you – they’re all about executing an easier job search in this economy.

My videos are completely free and I’m confident you’re going to find them useful. The link to access the first one is below.


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J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. In addition to agreeing with the other comments this works on a huge assumption that real time is spent reading the cover letter.

  2. Agree with the comments above on how this doesn’t actually give concrete examples of how to go about this-which makes it’s worth hard to judge. Also, the videos you’ve linked to aren’t ‘free’ if you’re trading them for my personal information. In a way you’re asking me to pay for a product you haven’t proven the worth of yet.

  3. I read books and novels for pleasure.

    A cover letter has an entirely different purpose, a business tool as such. The company might have more than one vacancy out there so that one liner establishes exactly what I’m interested in via a quick one-liner. Then I’d expect to introduce why I’m the best candidate they ever saw, using that information to get their attention and make them want to look at my resume. My resume then makes them want to interview me.

    I get the ‘have them at hello concept’, but really without offering alternative suggestions I felt your video fell short of the promise.

  4. This is great advice, but could you provide some examples? I’m a writer so I have no problem with stories, but what constitutes overdoing it?


    • I agree. I have often heard about writing a first sentence to hook readers in, but how far do you go? You don’t want to be cheesy and unrealistic, and you don’t want a fluffy cover letter. HR doesn’t have time to read my story, they want to know how qualified I am…right?

  5. J.T.,

    Thank you for your video on “Quick Tips for cover letters.” I never thought of the cover letter needing that catchy opening, so you definitely peaked my interest. I wonder if you might provide a couple of examples of opening sentences you’ve seen to help get the creative juices flowing? Thanks.

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