TL; DR: A cover letter is an opportunity to get your interviewer excited about your story. It goes into the juicy parts of your professional career that the resume doesn’t cover. It is important for applicants to learn how to write a cover letter that will get your foot in the door and get you that coveted job interview.
Nod your head if your first cover letter was a one-liner that said something like the following: “Please attach my résumé as requested.” Embarrassing and inappropriate, but let’s face it, the cover letter was an anomaly when it first became popular in the late 1990s (yes, so long ago!).
Here’s the thing, cover letters have been around for over fifty years. Face palm!
Back in the day, a job seeker just had to know a man who knew a man in order to get a job. But modern job seekers have more to do, and the cover letter seems like the right one in the recruiting space. Your one-liner won’t cut it, buttercup.
Do you want to land on Job or do you want to land the Job? So write a cover letter that will make you memorable and allow your application to stand out from the rest – even those who have hired a professional resume writer.
Why your cover letter is important
A résumé is a factual collection of your achievements, experiences and training. This should be your highlight role and only the cheekiest, juiciest parts of your professional career should be on it. It forms the backbone of your application.
Your cover letter is the document that gives your resume a personality. It paints the picture of who you are and what value you will add to the team. As Ramit would say, it answers the interviewer’s question, “What kind of person is this?”
It tells the story of you.
Sell yourself, but don’t sell yourself short
There is advice on how to write a cover letter and then there is advice on how to do it land you the dream job. Which one rocks your world If it’s the latter, take a pen and start writing.
Before even contacting a company for an interview for a job posting, you need to understand what the job requires and how you can help your potential new boss achieve their goals in that role. You need to make her dizzy with excitement and be eager to invite you for an interview.
How you do that? Ramit’s briefcase technique you point out Areas in their business that they can improve Show them that your unique skills and experience can solve these problems. Then explain how “over the past year I helped a company like yours double their sales by optimizing their supply chain using a method I developed during my MBA.”
How do I write a cover letter that sizzles
Sure, you can try adding an airbrush photo of yourself on a good day, but if you don’t apply for America’s Next Top Model, it might not work in your favor.
Instead, clean formatting, neat writing, and layout can probably do more.
If you hope to print your cover letter on 50 gsm sheet2 Shikibu Gampi paper would bring you special treatment, don’t mind. Ramit reminds us that the hiring manager doesn’t play shit. You have to stop worrying about the little things and focus on the things that are important to the hiring manager.
Rather, focus on writing a short, inspiring cover letter that guarantees an interview.
Of course, you can do a quick search and find thousands of cover letter templates in two seconds, but it’s not the template that gets you the job. It’s the content. Writing an effective cover letter is your chance to blow your damn socks off.
Write your big story
It is possible to write both too much and too little. While it touches on things that are already on your resume, your cover letter needs to have delicious nibbles that are not on your resume. Be sure to add the following three juicy bites in fascinating ways that show who you are and what you bring to the table.
1. Work experience
While it feels like your history as an administrator in a bank is worth mentioning, if you are applying for a position as a marketing director, leave it on the extended resume. Make sure you include how your current job title relates to the application. The work history you mention in the cover letter should have a direct bearing on the position you are applying for.
For example, “In 2008, I was a marketer for an XYZ fundraising project for a non-profit organization, and the event raised enough funds to cover the project for three years, compared to the regular year. I held the role for two years and then moved to ABC Agency where I ran the marketing department for the following projects (and then listed them). These roles have helped me shape those skills (select the relevant ones) that will add value to your advertised role (the advertised position). “
Now it’s easy to get carried away and blow the horn. Be humble and to the point. Avoid saying that you are the best person for the job as you have a strong marketing background. Focus on what you’ve done and the results you’ve achieved. That way, the hiring manager can decide if you are the best person for the job.
Three stories associated with this role are a good number to hold onto. It adds credibility and doesn’t make your cover letter clunky.
If you’re struggling to decide whether to talk about education or experience first, choose the one that is most impressive and can increase your credibility early on. When it comes to education, it is not enough to just state the degree. It is important to highlight the aspects of the degree that add value to the role you are applying for.
3. Something fun or different
If you are applying for a serious role, like the FBI or the CIA, or institutions where humor or spontaneity are viewed as vice, skip this step. Incidentally, it helps to show that you have a sense of humor and that you are not just another cog in the machine. If you are an avid mountaineer or do improvisational comedy twice a month, this is worth mentioning.
Your cover letter format (the technical stuff)
- Start with your personal information like full name, contact information, email address, social media handles, and place of residence.
- You direct the letter to whoever posted the job. This means reaching out to the company’s hiring manager, HR representative or CEO. If there’s no name or title, contact the CEO. Also include the full name and address of the company you are applying to.
- Add a “Dear Sir or Madam” if you are familiar with the preferred prefix.
Be careful not to lose your reader … Address data and your personal data can be displayed in the margin. Your cover letter is about convincing your reader of your opening line as quickly as possible. In fact, it only takes you fifteen seconds to attract them.
- In the first paragraph you state where you saw the job advertisement and whether the job was brought to you through mutual contact. But here’s the thing. Guiding the hiring manager around Dullvilletownshire might as well save time and stop typing. Flex creativity by dragging your reader into the letter. Make them feel special. For example: “Our mutual contact, Joe Somebody, thought I might be interested in the position of graphic designer in your Boston office. He was wrong. I’m freaking out! I’ve been following your business on social media for the past three years and your Wilderness campaign has knocked my socks off. “While not all cover letters are as informal, it is worth researching the company you are applying to. Many companies have real people and some creative efforts may get you noticed. That’s the point, right?
- Paragraphs two and three detail your education, skills and experience.
- Conclude by thanking the reader for their time and consideration. Make sure you include a call to action (which isn’t bad), e.g. B. “Hope to hear from you soon.”
Ideally, your cover letter should be no longer than three paragraphs and in no case longer than a single page. If so, it’s better to be damn good. Where you’re the “executive member of a planet” or invented a cure for the good of midnight biscuits. So unless it’s that good, edit, edit, edit.
Resumes and cover letters go hand in hand and you will want to see Ramit’s takeover of the ideal résumé. Take the first step to putting together a great application package and get one step closer to your dream job.
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