Are you put off from putting yourself forward for a role because you are asked to submit a cover letter along with your CV?
How many times have you closed that tab on your computer screen and forget all about it?
What if this is your latest form of self-sabotage? This opportunity could be the stepping stone to the next stage in your career. This opportunity could finally get your salary to a figure that you feel matches your skills, experience and expertise.
Are you really going to throw it all away because you don’t know how to write a cover letter?
The truth is, most people don’t know where to start, how much to write and others worry that their letter is merely duplicating the information in their CV.
I’m here to break down the mystery and share with you the 3 essential elements that you need to include to build any cover letter.
1. Nail the lead, get their attention, get in the door
The goal of any cover letter is to grab people’s attention and encourage them to read on. You need to make it personal.
You need to demonstrate that you are not just scatter gunning letters out to all and sundry. Instead, you need to express, thoughtfully, why you are the perfect match for THAT business.
You need to provide a strong hook. Here’s who I am and why I want to work for YOU.
Be sure to carefully read the job description and use THEIR words to describe the role.
2. Provide the evidence and stand out at the ideal choice
The middle section will be the most detailed. This is the part when you provide the evidence that you have the skills THEY need. You need to demonstrate you can come in and “hit the ground running” on Day 1.
Yes, this will require some work on your part.
You will need to figure out what problems they are experiencing right now?
What is keeping the hiring manager awake at night?
Once you have figured this out, you then go to your toolbox of skills and match the problem they have with the problem solving skill you possess.
What is your superpower? How can you demonstrate your value to the hiring manager?
One way is to think RIGIS.
Where have you:
Hiring managers are looking for you to come and do this for them too.
You may have:
- Reduced – cost, errors, customer complaints
- Improved – customer feedback, press exposure
- Grown – customer base, employee numbers, customer numbers
- Increased – sales, customer advocacy, NPS
- Saved – time, money
What is in your RIGIS?
3. Close with a “Call to Action” so they know what to do next
The momentum genie is strong with your powerful middle section where you demonstrate your value using RIGIS.
Now it’s time for “The big finish”.
Don’t peter out at this point (even if your name is Peter 😆 )
Sum up what an asset you would be to this organisation in particular and include a clear CALL TO ACTION.
Thank them for their time and consideration and state the one thing you want the hiring manager to do as a result or reading your letter? Would you like a meeting to discuss the role, would you like to arrange an exploratory phone call, would you like to be connected with someone in HR?
Do not present a cornucopia of options, offer one and only one.
Bonus – Use a catchy email subject line
Most cover letters are now sent as emails rather than on paper. The challenge with this is how do you get your email to stand out in the sea of other emails that the hiring manager will receive on a daily basis?
You need a catchy subject line, if you are looking for some inspiration, why not check out my latest eBook.
I co-authored this with Deborah Ager, a writing coach who has taught over 1,000 adults to write more creatively and even founded a magazine that is now carried in Harvard, Yale and Brown libraries.
In the book, we provide you with 7 different templates for you to use as a cover letter. These are both traditional and edgy in style and include examples of how to respond to an advertised vacancy as well as how to speculatively approach a hiring manager.
In addition, there are templates that you can use to:
- Request a meeting
- Thank the interviewer for their time, and
- Request an update about your application
No longer will you be staring at a blank screen not knowing what to say – imagine how much time this will save you!
We also provide you with some ideas for email subject lines that will make people stop and open your email – use these with caution!
If you are thinking, “OMG this is exactly what I need”, then in exchange for for £27, a copy will be delivered to your inbox within minutes. Just click here.