Success Principles: How To Get The Job You Want Pt. 1 – A Great Cover Letter
This is the first part of a three part series, Success Principles: How to get the job you want.
Firstly, Part One: A Great Cover Letter
Then, Part Two: The Outstanding Resume
Finally, Part Three: Insider Interviews Tips and Pointers
In your aspirations to get the job you want or even a just a job you may encounter one of the common barriers to entry. A Cover Letter ! Let this requirement be a lifting and motivating factor as it gives you the opportunity to show YOU are the one they are looking for. Simply put I want to see you achieve what you want out of life. I want you to get the job you want. Therefore, this post is done in the spirit and hope to see you stand out in the application process and move you away from a generic cover letter.
“In all thy gathering, gather understanding” – Anon
In this post I will cover the key intrinsic elements of a cover letter. This will reveal to you your personal and specific cover letter template. This will take you from the normal how to write a cover letter category, to the how write a good cover letter category.
“Any area of your life that is not glistening with hope is being held under by the influence of a lie.”
– Tom Crandall
Cover letter format, cover letter structure, cover letter layout seems to be one of the key concerns of job applicants.
A cover letter is a document sent along with your resume. It is meant to provide additional information on your skills and experience. In short, it is the good, shiny cover of your application.
Cover letters constitute the only free form document in the recruiting process. So this is your chance to let more of who you truly are shine through. It is the one that gives you the opportunity to say something more about you, why you find that position appealing and much more. Sadly, many people often use it as a mere cover. Literally.
“…the fate of your resume will largely depend on how sincere, interesting, impressive and real your cover letter will be.”
Being something that is, at the same time, out and inside the hiring process, a cover letter provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying for before your credentials get examined. This means the fate of your resume will largely depend on how sincere, interesting, impressive and real your cover letter will be.
Whilst doing my research I found a good number of people have been searching for specific cover letters. What I mean when I say this, is industry specific or role cover letters. For example, a cover letter for internship, a receptionist cover letter, marketing cover letter, IT cover letter, legal cover letter, engineering cover letter or a graduate cover letter. That is all fair and well.
What I am about to share here are a few timeless and specific keys and strategies that apply to all types of cover letters.These laws (if you will) transcend industry and roles (substance over form). Effectively give employers better feel for who you are and how you are naturally better suited for the job.
“To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire
“The best way to proceed…”
That said, it is obvious why you should avoid repeating what people can find by themselves reading your resume. The best way to proceed is to include specific information on why you are a strong match for this job.
In terms of marketing yourself, a cover letter may be compared to a sales pitch, something that puts your credentials on display helping you get the interview.
Remember, there is only one chance to make a good first impression.
So, here we go….
A job interview is very similar to a blind date. Getting to the date depends to a lot of things. You hear about someone and decide if he/she is interesting enough to try a first approach. Then, after the date, you decide whether you want to see that person again. In the hiring world, what convinces you an approach is worth being tried? The cover letter!
What To Write In A Cover Letter; Specifically YOUR Cover Letter :
Saying who you are (what you can do is brilliantly epitomized in your resume), this document allows employers to know something about you they would never know by looking at your professional resume. Something that will make them think why you qualify better than others. The way you approached your application, the words you chose. These are all important things. Something that will inevitably make a first impression. Something that will go beyond the cold, pre-formatted data and generic words in your resume.
Remember – Your entire persona must stand out from a wide range of other candidates and hopefuls. That’s what a successful application is all about.
“Explain why applying for this job is so important…”
Your cover letter/ cover letter format should have a highly personal, dynamic and engaging content. Once again, forget about repeating what they will see in your resume. Explain why applying for this job is so important to you, like sort of a mission, a deep call you could not ignore at all. After all, we all have our dreams, something we want to achieve or do. The fact we haven’t reached that goal yet may be due to a lot of things and circumstances. What it really matters is that you are jumping at this opportunity. You saw it, recognized it and decided you wanted to pursue it, putting your heart and skills into it.
Take for example. The big difference between “I saw your job posting and strongly believe I fully qualify for that” and “When I saw your job posting I knew I had to submit my application. What you describe is something I have always been looking for.” Got the drift?
“Start where you are. Use what you can. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
“…use your own words”
Be sincere, never exaggerate, use your own words, do not worry if the style is not the best. As long as you are grammatically correct, understandable, clear and sincere your enthusiasm will shine.
Keep in mind that, if the employer finds your cover letter catchy, then your resume must confirm and (from a professional point of view) enhance what you already said about yourself. Therefore, make sure there is no conflict between what you say and mean in the cover letter and what will result from the resume. In other words, be sincere and coherent all the time!
Also, remember that in the end you must keep your focus on how you are going to satisfy the company’s needs. You may be engaging, dynamic, competent, but the bottom line is that you must fully perform what the job requires from you.
“ …draw the employer’s attention…”
When coming to a close, it is always a good idea to draw the employer’s attention to something that could make them find out other things about you. Naturally draw them in like the skilled and experienced a snake charmer you are. While saying you look forward to hearing from them, list your phone number (better to have it at hand than go look for that – many things can happen in a millisecond, don’t give them the chance to get distracted,) invite them to take a look at your website.
What you are doing is subtly guiding them to the next steps you hope they will take in your favor, ensuring all the information they need to know is right in front of them.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
– Charles R. Swindoll
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