Advertising
Advertising

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.

the responsible employee responsability

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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”.

      Advertising

      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.

        Advertising

        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!

        the end

          More by this author

          20 Healthy And Tasty Vegan Breakfasts That Bring You Enough Protein 6 Things You Learn From Winter Camping The Ultimate Moving Guide For An Easy Move 6 Reasons You Should Date A Gamer (Girl or Boy) Proven Benefits Of Having A Beard All Men Need To Know About

          Trending in Work

          1 17 Ways to Ace Your Next Phone Interview And Land the Job You Deserve 2 How to Work Smarter Not Harder with These 12 Tips 3 5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team 4 How to Dress for Success While You’re Working with a Tight Budget 5 8 Powerful Traits of Incredibly Successful Entrepreneurs Around the World

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising

          Published on September 17, 2018

          17 Ways to Ace Your Next Phone Interview And Land the Job You Deserve

          17 Ways to Ace Your Next Phone Interview And Land the Job You Deserve

          There is one thing standing in the way of you and the job of your dreams: a phone interview. The screening interview is an opportunity for companies to narrow the list of presumably qualified applicants and determine who merits a closer look.

          So many candidates exclude themselves from the phone interview by being unprepared or by failing to take this screening session seriously. A phone interview should not block you from living the life you have always imagined.

          Here are 17 tips to help you ace your next one:

          1. Clear the deck.

          If you are reading this blog, you are likely busier than you would prefer or even imagine. Even when you schedule or accept phone interviews, they are likely sandwiched between meetings.

          To show up fully present, energized and engaged, I recommend you clear the deck and give yourself at least an hour of uninterrupted time before and 30 minutes following the interview.

          You can use the time to mentally prepare, develop a list of questions, rehearse answers to likely questions and ensure you are comfortable and ready for the interview.

          2. Look the part.

          It is no secret that we perform better when we look and feel the part. If you have a phone interview, dress up for the interview, if dressing up is comfortable and allows you to put your best foot forward.

          Even though you will likely do the interview from home or a private location, be sure you are dressed professionally. This will allow you to be fully engaged and present.

          In the event, the interviewer asks to connect with you via Zoom, Google Hangout or Skype, you will be prepared.

          3. Resend your resume and cover letter prior to the call.

          As a courtesy, resend your resume and cover letter prior to your screening interview. You never know if the person interviewing you has had a busy day or if a schedule change forced him or her to work from home rather than the office where the individual has access to their files.

          There have been many times in my career where a last-minute change or a mix-up with support staff has left me scrambling at the last minute to find a candidate’s resume. It is quite embarrassing to misplace a resume and ask the interviewee to resubmit it.

          You can save the interviewer the trouble and earn extra points by resending both documents in advance of your call. A simple message will suffice, such as “I am looking forward to speaking with you in an hour, and I am resending my resume to ensure it is at the top of your inbox.”

          Advertising

          4. Research the interviewer.

          Once your interview is scheduled, be sure to research the person facilitating it.

          You will want to Google the person and check their social media accounts. When you research the interviewer, try to get a sense of the individual’s personal and professional interests.

          Once you identify those interests, acknowledge them in the interview, but do not dwell on them, because you do not want to make the interviewer uncomfortable. Follow his or her lead. If the interviewer indulges your questions or comments, by all means, continue the conversation.

          I am always impressed when someone I am meeting with takes the opportunity to learn something about me ahead of time. This projects interest, which is important in my line of work.

          5. Research the company.

          In addition to researching the interviewer, be sure to research the company.

          Ask people in your network if they know anyone who works or has worked for the organization in question. Conduct a Google search on the company, and be mindful to look beyond the first page of the search query.

          If there are yelp reviews on the company, be careful to review those and look for trends as well as how recent the reviews were posted. While more recent reviews are obviously cause for pause, older reviews – depending on their nature – could be problematic as well.

          6. Check the staff listing or “About Us” section of the company’s website.

          Part of your research into a company is assessing whether you know staff or board members who are connected with the company.

          Most organizations list their staff or board members in the “About Us” or “Our Team” section of the website. Prior to a phone interview, check these sections to determine whether you know someone who works for the company. If you do, reach out to that person to request a phone interview to learn more about the company.

          7. Remember interviewing is a two-way street.

          As much as the company representative wants to learn about you as the interviewee, you will want to learn about the organization.

          Try to ferret out information on the company, the job for which you are applying as well as the manager to whom you would report. You will also want to ask questions to assess the interview process.

          Additionally, because culture is important and will permit or slow your ability to do your job, ask questions to assess company culture, such as “What do your employees say they like most about working for your organization?” “What do employees say they like least?” “What do you do to create and maintain a healthy workplace culture?”

          Advertising

          8. Develop questions prior to the interview.

          Prior to your interview, develop a list of questions about the company, the position for which you are applying, growth opportunities in the company, the ideal candidate for the position, and so forth. This will save you the trouble of thinking of questions on the spot during the interview.

          I have found that once I become nervous, it is a lot harder to come up with questions on the spot, and interviews can be anxiety-producing without preparation.

          9. Stand during the interview.

          I train leaders and, incidentally, graduate students to become spokespersons.

          I recommend that they stand during media interviews. I find that it helps the person speaking to project better, and it reduces the urge to get too comfortable in an interview setting and say something that could be too informal.

          Similarly, I recommend interviewees stand for at least a portion of their phone interview.

          10. Allow the interviewer to talk.

          While it is essential you ask questions during an interview, you should not dominate the conversation.

          Most people love talking about themselves and the company they represent, and it is your job as the interviewee to walk a fine line between allowing the interviewer to talk and interspersing questions when and where appropriate.

          I am not suggesting you remain silent – you want the interviewer to learn about you; but you should ensure that the interviewer has ample opportunity to do what most people do best: talk about themselves and their work.

          11. Refrain from multitasking.

          We all live hurried lives, and most of us have to-do lists that are impossible to complete.

          When we have multiple due dates and obligations, it is typical to want to avail oneself of every seemingly free moment of time.

          When conducting or participating in a phone interview, be as present as possible. This means refraining from multitasking, which could mean responding to emails, text messages or social media messages. It could mean researching the company during the interview.

          Whatever multitasking means for you, simply do not do it, especially during a screening interview.

          Advertising

          12. Conduct the phone interview in a place where there is minimal noise.

          A common thread throughout this post has been that most of us live busy lives. So, it is natural to be on the go.

          If you have the luxury of conducting a phone interview from home or a private office where there is minimal noise, do so. You may also rent a co-working space or ask a friend if you can borrow his or her office.

          Whatever you do, select a place where there is minimal noise and distraction. The person interviewing you should not have to strain to hear what you are saying or compete with ambient noises.

          When I am interviewing a candidate and competing with background noise, I grow frustrated and my focus can shift from getting to know the person to silencing the noise. Do not force your interviewer to choose.

          13. Be punctual.

          Do not leave the interviewer waiting. This is both rude and unprofessional, and it may count against you.

          If you are able to follow my earlier advice and not schedule meetings within an hour of your phone interview, you should have no time being prompt for your discussion.

          If you foresee that you will be late, be sure to give the interviewer a heads-up at least 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the call.

          14. Focus on how you can and will help.

          Let’s face it: people are naturally self-interested.

          When you walk into an interview focused on what you can bring and how you can solve a hiring manager’s problems, you will set yourself and your candidacy apart.

          Think about the challenges you could potentially solve and then share how your joining the team will benefit the company, not just you.

          15. Take the interview seriously.

          Do not assume you will have an opportunity to meet face to face with company representatives. Do not discount the weight that may be placed on phone interviews.

          I once applied for a position on the East Coast while living on the West Coast. While my first interview was face to face, my interview with one senior leader was over the phone. I walked into the interview thinking it would be less intense than it was.

          Advertising

          From the moment the leader got on the phone with me, I was on my toes. I had to quickly recalibrate to handle the intensity of the questions lobbed on me.

          To this day, more than six years later, that phone interview remains one of the most difficult interviews I have ever had. Fortunately for me, I was offered the job, but the experience still stands out as a learning lesson.

          16. Send a thank-you note.

          Kindness is underrated. We live in a society where most people are overscheduled and overbooked.

          When faced with intense pressure, it can be easy to underestimate the role of kindness. But when someone shares a portion of the day with you by granting you an interview, you owe it to that individual and to yourself to send a thank-you note following the interview.

          The note can be via email, a standard letter or a card. So few people do this that those who do stand out.

          Become an individual who remembers this gesture of kindness and professional courtesy.

          17. Be positive.

          Energy really is contagious. If you don’t believe me, consider locking yourself in a room for one hour with people are upset. By the time you leave the room, you will be upset right along with them. It is natural to mirror the other person even if you do not realize you are doing it.

          During your next phone interview, mirror positivity, both about the position, the company and most importantly, your skill sets. The interviewer will pick up on your energy and positivity and that will reflect favorably.

          I cannot tell you how many times I have interviewed candidates who communicated no excitement or enthusiasm. Getting through the interview was difficult, not to mention, I kept thinking about what it would be like to work with the person daily.

          Being positive not only helps you feel better, it helps the person interviewing you as well.

          If you have read this list and want to add other tips, please tweet the link to this article and include the point you believe I missed. Use the hashtag #AceIt when you reach out.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          Read Next