Cover Letter Stress
You might be wondering how you can improve your cover letters. It’s a common question that I get from clients. Especially considering that in many other countries, the cover letter “culture” is very different from what it is here. It causes a lot of stress for international students and professionals alike, and it doesn’t need to.
In this blog, I’m going to give you a simple strategy you can use to make your cover letters more compelling. Once you get the idea, the whole process will become a lot less painful.
Why Write a Cover Letter?
But first let’s address the issue of whether you should even include a cover letter at all. Think about it like this: the cover letter is a free marketing opportunity for you. It’s a chance to give that hiring manager an extra incentive to contact you that’s not obvious from the resume.
I’m not the only one that feels this way: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/should-you-include-a-cover-letter-if-it-s-not-required-2060291
Always Be Interesting
Ok what’s the strategy?
It’s based on the idea of differentiation. In fact, your entire approach to the job hunt should be based on differentiating yourself from the other candidates. You need to be memorable. You need to catch their eye and engage them on an emotional and an unpredictable level. Be different. Hiring managers sometimes have to read hundreds of resumes and cover letters. You don’t want to be boring and generic!
Don’t do this:
Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the _______ role at _______. I am an ___________ with _________years experience. The requirements of this position perfectly fit my past experiences, and I am excited about working at a ___________company where I can learn a lot and contribute my skills.
BTW this came from a template that a recent client found online. As you can see, it will make you fall asleep in very short order. There’s nothing intriguing or memorable about it at all.
Contrast it with:
I grew up with Google. When I was seven years old, I used to sneak down to my Dad’s office at five in the morning to play video games. I still remember opening the browser and seeing the bright, multi-colored letters above the search box for the first time. I’ve always been interested in the tech space and while my background has mainly been in the sciences, I’m ready to dive head first into the digital world. I would be a great fit for the Digital Advertising Sales Account Manager role because I have a deep understanding of the businesses that partner with Google and how they define success.
This intro is fantastic. It immediately pulls the reader into the world of a little kid sneaking into his Dad’s office and being mesmerized by the colorful Google logo. On top of that, it conveys the long term relationship this candidate has had with the company, includes some storytelling, and sounds confident.
Which candidate would you rather chat with?
So think of ways to differentiate yourself and even entertain the reader a little bit while at the same time showing your passion and connection to the company and its mission.
Stay tuned for more tips!