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Kevin’s Blog / Does Your Resume have You Covered?

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If you’re planning on looking for work in the Oil Sands, here’s some advice on resume Cover Letters to help get you in. 

Does Your Resume have You Covered?

A resume Cover Letter is a one page introduction written (or edited) for a specific job application. It lets the hiring manager get a sense of your relevant experience and what you have to offer their company. The trick is to present yourself in an even handed but positive way, so the hiring manager wants to really look at your resume.

The Cover Letter gets its name from the pre-digital paper age, when it was literally a “cover” for a resume. 

Today, resumes are written on a word processor, but we have kept the tradition of the Cover Letter so far. 

My Resume Cover Letter Top Tip is:
research the company you’re applying to.

One of the most important things you can do is to research the company you are applying to to find out as much as you can about the company structure, what they do, their culture, and philosophy. Find the company contact information, as well as the name and full title of the Hiring Manager or Human Resources Manager.

The Cover Letter Heading

The heading should more or less follow formal business rules. The header is for information purposes and should always include the following:

  • Your contact info; name, email address, phone number 
  • The date
  • The Job Posting ID number
  • The name and title of the hiring manager you are contacting
  • The name and address of the company you are applying to

Of course you can add more contact info, such as:

  • Your professional title
  • Links to your social media accounts
  • Links to other professional or relevant websites

The Salutation

Use the hiring manager’s name, it’s a personal touch that will attract and focus their attention. During your research, determine if the company culture makes a relaxed, first name approach appropriate. If you can’t tell, go for a formal, professional, titled approach. If you can’t find a name, you can use a variation.

  • Dear Ms./Miss/Mrs./Mr. Macaroni
  • Dear Maria/Luigi
  • Dear Perfect Oil Co. Hiring Manager/Team Hiring Manager

The Opening

Grab the attention of the reader. Don’t just say you’ve done the same kind of work somewhere else and can certainly do it here too. State how you have succeeded, with something along the lines of: 

“I can see how your planned expansion will rejuvenate the Perfecto Oil Co., and can assure you I will be a valuable asset for your team due to my experience as a Well Pad Process Operator in several large scale SAGD start-ups, with no serious safety incidents and within budget.”

If you’re a little short on experience, emphasize your enthusiasm for the opportunity being presented.
If you have solid credentials and experience, describe how your past performance can be applied to the offered position.

Tell them what you’re offering

Showcase yourself and what you have to offer the company. But base this on how you meet 2 or 3 specific requirements stated in the job posting, not on your perceived strengths.  

Tell them what youre looking for

Convince the reader you’re a good fit who wants this particular job. Pick something about the company (its philosophy, products, operation or plans); explain why it interests you and how you see yourself help advance this part of the business.

The Complimentary Closing & Call to Action

This is where you double-down on your assertion you’re the best candidate. Tell the hiring manager you want to meet to discuss how you can help them. Keep the focus on what you have to offer, not on asking for the job.

The Signature Closing

  • Thank you,
  • Sincerely,
  • Best/Kind Regards,

Standard stuff; you can repeat your contact information and online links below your signature.

P.S. The Postscript

The postscript can be a great device, drawing attention to a strong point and repeating a call to action.

“P.S. I am looking forward to discussing how my process operation and SAGD Well Pad start-up experience can best help your team meet its production and efficiency targets.

To Whom it May Concern: Please don’t use To Whom it May Concern as your salutation. Do your best to find an actual person to address; even if it turns out to be the wrong person at the company, your effort could make a big difference. 

Good luck in your search!

Of course, knowing as much as possible about Oil Sands production is a great asset, and completing Contendo’s SAGD Oil Sands Online Training is a certifiable way of proving you know what you’re talking about.

Find out more about SAGD & oil recovery in the Canadian Oil Sands.

Go to Contendo’s SAGD Oil Sands Online Training page

Kevin Fox is a power engineer & senior technical writer at Contendo, who has written process education programs for industrial clients and students since 2009.

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