Advertising
Advertising

How To Be Interesting In A Cover Letter

How To Be Interesting In A Cover Letter

Want your cover letter to stand out and get the dream job you want? Jessica Hagy, an artist and writer has some tips for everyone to make a cover letter interesting.

3030808-inline-competitionctd

    Write one. Your resume checks off key words and gets your information in front of someone, but it’s not enough to get you an interview. Use the power of the cover letter for your own good (or evil, if you’re applying for a job selling drugs or weapons to kids).

    Advertising

    3030808-inline-coverletter002

      Don’t play Mad Libs. If you found a cover letter template online, odds are, so did a half million other people. Ditch the fill-in-the-blank format and tell your own story, in a way that only you can. You’ll stand out, if for no other reason than your letter isn’t completely cookie-cutter.

      3030808-inline-coverletter003-copy

        Deviate from examples. Read enough cover letters online, and you’ll begin to feel a pattern. The fake-peppy tone, the stuffy sentence structures, and the box-checking formats all blend together in a beige puddle of boring. Now, imagine it’s your job to read these things all day, and you’ll see that a little change in the format will go a long way toward making you the person who gets the interview. But seriously, no comic sans–that font makes you look worse than silly.

        Advertising

        3030808-inline-coverletter004

          Offer something other than your desperate self on a platter. Anything that hints about that fact that you are currently selling plasma in order to pay the electric bill is not a winning tone. Talk about what you can do for the place you want to work, not about how you really need a job. Show you have more to offer than a warm body.

          Advertising

          3030808-inline-coverletter005

            But don’t get creepy. While letting your prospective employer know you’re knowledgeable about the company, adding details about the CEO’s criminal records or the marketing manager’s recent real estate purchases isn’t advised, even though it’s sure to get the attention of your reader. Google-stalk, but don’t stalk-stalk.

            3030808-inline-coverletter006

              Lead with an anecdote–not your qualifications. The cover letter complements your resume. Don’t recreate it with complete sentences in the letter, use this space to tell an opening story that humanizes you and makes you memorable.

              Advertising

              3030808-inline-coverletter007

                And make sure you put in a little personality. You have one. It’s a major part of you. You might as well own it. Besides, people hire people they like, not resumes they like. So relax, get comfortable, and write a letter from a real person–you, not faceless a job candidate.

                One last thing: Autocorrect is a pox on all our houses. Read your letter five or six times, and before you send it, just to be safe.

                Jessica Hagy is the author of How To Be Interesting. Her cartoons regularly appear in the New York Times, and she writes an online column for Forbes.

                More by this author

                Anna Chui

                Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

                How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need

                Trending in Work

                1 50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry 2 10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs and What We Can Learn from Them 3 How to Switch Careers and Get Closer to Your Dream Job 4 9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career 5 How to Swiftly Make a Midlife Career Change

                Read Next

                Advertising
                Advertising
                Advertising

                Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

                Job Search Experts

                You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

                1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

                2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

                3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

                4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

                5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

                Management Experts

                They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

                6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

                7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

                8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

                9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

                Advertising

                Productivity Experts

                By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

                10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

                11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

                12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

                13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

                Marketing Experts

                14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

                15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

                16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

                17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

                18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

                19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

                20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

                Advertising

                21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

                22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

                23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

                24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

                25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

                26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

                Personal Branding Experts

                Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

                Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

                27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

                28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

                Other Notable Experts to Follow

                29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

                30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

                Advertising

                31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

                32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

                33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

                34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

                35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

                36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

                37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

                38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

                39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

                40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

                41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

                42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

                Advertising

                43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

                44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

                45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

                46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

                47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

                48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

                49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

                50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

                These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

                More Articles About Successful People

                Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

                Read Next