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8 Things You Haven’t Tried When Writing a Killer Cover Letter

8 Things You Haven’t Tried When Writing a Killer Cover Letter

Aren’t you in a hurry? Why? Well, because your dream job awaits you. That awesome place where you stay late at the office because you want to implement a new campaign, the place where you bake chocolate muffins and make smoothies when you feel like it, with your boss and your colleagues by our side. That dream job where you fit in perfectly and from where it will be a nightmare to retire.

Huh, you are not there yet? Honey, you are one killer cover letter away from that dream job. If you don’t want to spend the rest of your working life stuck in that boring job, put your creativity at work. Here are some secrets on how to write a killer cover letter.

First, let’s review super-fast the main goals of a cover letter: it is meant to make you stand out from the crowd, prove that you are the man (or woman) for the job, and that you will fit in perfect because you were born to work in that place.

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    Most people fail to meet these three tasks. This sets them up for failure right from the beginning. They don’t realize the importance of the cover letter, so they don’t even get a chance to show that they are the best employee for a certain position.

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    In order to write a killer cover letter you must first think like a recruiter. This person spends eight to 10 hours a day talking to candidates and reading cover letters. And “reading” is a broad term; the reality is more like skimming the letters. When they spot a different word or phrase in a cover letter, they will wake up and call you faster than you can spell your own name.

    There are lots of tips and tricks on how to write a killer cover letter, but here are the lesser-known ones, which can make a difference between getting a job and heading towards social services for unemployment. When you are on a mission to achieve brilliance, you must not be afraid to try out something new–phrases and voices you’ve never used before in a cover letter.

    Here are some great tips on how to write a killer cover letter that will help you get your dream job right away.

    1. Customise the first line

    When you browse the internet and see news titles, you click on the one which is different from the “flock”, right? Recruiters do the same. Ditch the pattern and start your cover letter with something human, like “I’m excited to apply to your marketing assistant position…”. If you want to stir up even more interest, go beyond the rules and bend them: a joke or a poem can do the trick for creative jobs. If you apply for a position which requires lots of organisation, organise your first line. It’s up to you to find the way to do it, after all, you are the man/woman for this job, right?

    2. Address the killer cover letter to the HR Manager

    Most people send cover letter and resumes to the whole Human Resources department. But, if you take a couple of minutes to look for the hiring manager and address the letter to him/her, that person will smile and read your resume first. They know you’ve spent some time for their names and hoping to find their customised email address.

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    killer cover letter

      3. Be sincere and tell your own story

      Humans are driven by emotions, regardless of age, gender or status. We love stories, because the child who crawls in his mother’s arms to listen to a fairy tale never dies. Sincerity is another “must-have”. Combine the three and get to the core of what made you dream about that particular position at that company. Tell the recruiter how a product influenced your life of how you’ve come to see the world from another point after the first contact with that brand.

      For example, if you apply for a news reporter position, you can tell what impact has on you the premature death of a reporter gone abroad to tell the story of savage wars upon innocent communities. And, before you ask, I did tell how James Foley and Steven Sotloff altered the way I see journalism in a cover letter and I am now working on that particular project. Telling your story works!

      4. Develop your resume

      After you’ve introduced yourself to the recruiter, it’s time to develop your story and talk about the skills you have and your previous achievements. Your resume only lists them, so here you have the chance to explain what you really did in your career. Build the core of your cover letter, focusing on how you got things done.

      For example: “When I was a social media manager, I managed 25 pages and raised their talk-about by 25%”. Another great example would be: “I’m calm during a crisis–I managed to deliver the translation in time when the translator fell ill and I had to look for someone else to complete it two hours before deadline”.

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      This is also the moment to talk about your personality, as no one wants to work with an anxious, moody person. Include some of your main personality features and make sure you pick the ones which can help you get the job done. For a reporter, for example, an extensive curiosity is a valuable asset. Meanwhile, an attention to detail is critical for accountants and merchandisers.

      5. Show that you can get the job done

      Self-praising is undesirable in a killer cover letter, unless you know how to do it properly! The employer must know that you are able to walk in the door, take-up a project and deliver it within deadline, without major mistakes. All jobs have one main requirement or task which can be stated on top of the list or can be hidden between the lines. Either way, identify it and be specific about what you would do to improve things and make everything go smoother.

      For example, write a paragraph where you explain what you could do while on a position, based on your skills and strengths. If you have some out-of-the-box ideas write them down, even if they don’t fit the pattern of the current advertising campaign of the brand. This will show the recruiter that you have ideas and you can also bring a new blossom in the company, if asked for. Plus, a good idea equals a good story and has the same impact upon the reader.

      hired killer cover letter

        6. Be sincere. Again.

        All recruiters want to know why do you think you are the best fit for the position, which you’ve already explained in the core of the killer cover letter. But they also want to know you are humble enough to be hired and can follow direction. The best way to show that you are a soft, warm person is to be sincere again. You don’t know if you will be hired, so spell it out. You can say that you are proud to be considered for this position, which is a balanced way to introduce your ending line.

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        7. A killer cover letter with a killer ending line

        Remember how Seherezade managed to stay alive for 1,001 nights? She never told the sultan the ending of the story. Play it like Beckham and be short: “Sincerely, …” and you are done.

        If you’ve managed to wake up the recruiter’s interest and make him want to know more about you, he will call you.

        8. Play with the words and bond

        Talking about touching the recruiters, it’s very important how familiar you are with them in your letter. A killer cover letter starts with two strangers and ends with two acquaintances, so measure how many and when you use the words “you” and “your”. The best moment to introduce them is when you switch from the greetings to the storyline; at the end of the story of how you get to know the company and how it influenced your career decisions, start working with the emotions and the soul of the reader. This will keep him engaged and when the abrupt end will pop-up, he will want to know more about you.

        And this is how you’ve nailed a killer cover letter!

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          Last Updated on May 15, 2019

          10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs and What We Can Learn from Them

          10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs and What We Can Learn from Them

          Apart from making crucial decisions for their own businesses, entrepreneurs innovate and grow their ideas. Albeit there being no cookie-cutter answer that fits everyone’s experiences, taking a look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs today, you might spot some similar traits and characteristics.

          Starting and nurturing a business entails a great amount of hard work and commitment. However, for aspiring entrepreneurs who are prepared to dedicate themselves to their vision, here are 10 most successful entrepreneurs you can learn from:

          1. Melanie Perkins: Know Your Worth and Keep Trying

            Melanie Perkins founded Canva, a Sydney-based business valued at $1Billion having successfully raised a number of rounds of successful funding and boasting more than 10 Million users in 179 countries.[1]

            She told BBC that one of the biggest challenges she faced getting into the business was talking about her company’s accomplishments when she first got to Silicon Valley. She attributed this difficulty to a cultural difference where Australians tend to ‘talk down’ their achievements and this would slow down her fundraising progress for a few years.

            Despite hundreds of rejections, Melanie emerged three years later with a much clearer strategy and stronger investor pitch that prompted a series of fundraising rounds netting the company $82Million of funding in total.[2]

            2. Bill Gates: Keep Learning and Exploring

              If you don’t know Bill Gates, you likely know the company he founded – Microsoft.

              Bill Gates’ story is a prime example of nurturing an idea that might seem out of this world but make sense in the future. One of the most successful entrepreneurs in history did not complete his degree at Harvard University to pursue a vision that the technology would soon become the future.

              He told a white lie to Altair, saying that he had made a computer program for them, therefore pushing himself to create a system that would change modern history.

              “The most important speed issue is convincing everyone that the company’s survival depends on moving as fast as possible.”

              Gates’ success is built on self-improvement and the seeds of an idea.

              3. Elon Musk: Never Stop Innovating

                Traditional thinking suggests that in order to become a successful entrepreneur, one must focus in a single field or industry.

                Elon Musk, however, breaks that rule.

                Today, the multifaceted tech entrepreneur, investor, and engineer advocates for the diversification of skills and businesses by delving into various fields of interest.

                When done right, skills in a single domain can be carried over then applied into contrasting industries to create something new the world might need. Musk owes his accomplishments to a constant thirst for knowledge.

                Having birthed Tesla and a myriad of products across the arenas of aeronautics and software design, Musk continues to evolve as an entrepreneur and plans to innovate for the long haul.

                4. Richard Branson: Develop People First

                  British entrepreneur Richard Branson founded Virgin Records in the early 1970s. Virgin Records has since grown into the Virgin Group, today responsible for over 400 companies.

                  The billionaire is strongly particular about working with a team that shares his core values and aspirations.

                  Branson believes that managing a business can become taxing, thus he acknowledges his employees for putting in the effort that they have.

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                  A good leader knows how to raise morale for positive productivity. Utilising emotional intelligence and compassion is a game changer in seeing results within a team.

                  Branson’s supports the idea of nurturing a positive work environment, with the belief that credentials must go hand-in-hand with an enthusiasm for work.

                  5. Jeff Bezos: A Relentless Focus on Customer Satisfaction

                    Having founded Amazon, Jeff Bezos is known to be one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. The e-commerce pioneer fixates himself on angry customers with the belief that a business’s loopholes are found in the experiences of unsatisfied customers.

                    For the 8th year in a row, customers have ranked Amazon as the number one in customer service (according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index).

                    While numerous companies ignore unhappy customers, Bezos found success in learning from reviews and surveys. By focusing on customer service, Amazon shows they care, both for their customers and for rising above their competitors.

                    While praise and recognition are signs that a business is accelerating, criticism is an opportunity to improve a product or a service.

                    6. Mark Zuckerberg: Start Small, Think Big

                      Valued at over 55 billion dollars today, Mark Zuckerberg built the first version of what would become a social networking giant in his Harvard University dorm room. As one of the world’s youngest entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg undoubtedly took countless calculated risks to get his brilliant idea to its current status with 2.38 billion active monthly users.

                      “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.”

                      He’s always daring to explore with a fearless mindset.

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                      The young tech entrepreneur never shied away from innovating outside of the box. Soon after Facebook became a hit to users and advertisers, big corporations took interest in buying Facebook from Zuckerberg.

                      However, he took the risk and decided to stay with his creation. Turning down billions of dollars offered by Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel, he envisioned turning his brainchild into something much bigger than what it already was then.

                      7. Steve Jobs: Live Your Own Dreams

                        Steve Jobs lived a rocky path all his life and an aspect of which is a tumultuous career.

                        The founder of Apple endorsed his beliefs on the temporality of life and limitations of time. He preached about the importance of working on the very legacies people wish to leave behind, an achievement he’s undoubtedly etched into the the archives of human history.

                        Never one to hide under someone’s shadow, Jobs did not live by anybody else’s principles so he formed his own. He tirelessly dedicated himself to building a unique brand of products that became the benchmark for contemporary technology.

                        After his highs and lows through his brief battle with cancer, Jobs concludes with yet another lesson to takeaway from his remarkable life. “No matter how much money you have, even the richest man can’t buy time.”

                        8. Warren Buffett: Balance is Essential to Success

                          Despite being the third wealthiest person in the world, Warrant Buffett sported a frugal lifestyle for most of his life.

                          After buying a house in Omaha, Nebraska for just above 31,000 dollars, he has lived there since 1958. As a leading investor and a founder at Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett believes in setting aside an amount to save and spend only on necessities.

                          With a long term goal as a top priority in mind always, treating oneself can be sustainable once in a while. He advices to save money by deciding first and foremost what aspects to scrimp on and what aspects to splurge on to ensure a happy and balanced lifestyle.

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                          9. Jack Ma: Never Give up

                            On every journey to success, everybody stumbles and arrives at roadblocks. Some more than most, like Jack Ma, who survived countless rejections and failures only to get back up and brave every storm.

                            Ma is the founder of multinational technology conglomerate Alibaba Group. Despite being rejected to Harvard after every one of his 10 applications, Ma was never defeated.

                            His grit and tenacity is a fine testament to the fact that grades do not determine a future. While qualifications on paper are important, the development of skills and an attitude is just as helpful in making a recipe for success.

                            Despite finding himself in the verge of bankruptcy in the 1990s, Jack Ma possessed the resilience to put one foot in front of the other until he finally made it. “It’s important to have patience,” he says.

                            10. Tan Min Liang: Passion Can Pay Off

                              Tan Min Liang is the founder of the leading high-performance gaming hardware, Razer. Always on the look out for new opportunities to connect and scale his business, Tan has been bold in making many of his life’s decisions.

                              Having deviated from a traditional path set by a family that consists of doctors and lawyers, Tan was to find his life’s work and passion while gaming with his older brother.

                              The idea was simple: there were so many games out there to play, however, there were hardly any gaming equipment to match this.

                              So he dropped out of law and began going a different direction, into creating solutions in the gaming industry. At the start of 2019, Tan wrote to tech luminary Elon Musk to which Musk’s reply suggested of a joint venture between two of the most successful entrepreneurs today.

                              Final Thoughts

                              In today’s cutthroat world, the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is a long and arduous process trailed with ups and downs. A valuable lesson that a good hand of entrepreneurs would love to convey to aspiring entrepreneurs is to keep the spirit of innovation and to explore uncharted waters.

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                              Learning from experience and failure is one direction to a desired end goal. Exhibiting the same dedication and grit so many entrepreneurs have through their unexpected careers – today’s budding visionaries ought to hang on their dreams and leave room for improvement along the way.

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                              Featured photo credit: Patrick Tomasso via unsplash.com

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