Did you know it would take around 70 cups of coffee to administer a lethal dose of caffeine, for the average person?
Did you also know what it takes 71 cups of coffee to give the average Head of Recruitment the patience to get through all the CVs they have submitted to them?
Therefore, you gotta help them out. As much as they may be a pain, we need our lovely Talent Acquisition Managers around. You can help them out by blowing their minds with a dynamite Cover Letter, and save them the horrendous task of trawling through thousands of pages. You have one page to grab em, let’s make it count.
Here's the JobsFactor Quick Tips to help get your cover letter covered.
Even the most committed Recruiter cannot consume enough caffeine to make dozens of CVs bearable. This is why the Cover Letter is the ace up your sleeve, we’ve got some industry secrets to land you an interview before they even hit your CV! Here we go:
1 - To Whom It May Concern!
When my first born son is delivered to this world, I plan to name him “Whom It May Concern”, just so that he can enjoy a life filled with generic cover letters being posted to him.
Do some research! It takes a couple of minutes to find the name of the person you need to address. Use it. It’s a super powerful way to grab attention and shows you care.
All you need to do is call the company and ask for the manager of the relevant department, or the name of the Head of Recruitment. Don’t be sneaky about it, let them know you’re applying for a job and want to know who to address your application to. Bonus points if you can have a quick chat with them and give them a voice to go with the application. This will boost your chances, big time.
2 - Cover the bases!
Please see attached my CV and please see below my Cover Letter, which basically is just the same stuff but in the form of a letter and with your name at the top.”
Don’t be this person. Your cover letter is supposed to be an addition to your CV, not just a remix. Of course you should summarise your key attributes and skills, but avoid using the same wording and explaining the same thing. Be sure to read your Cover Letter AND THEN your CV as if you were the employer. You’ll know right away if you’re just repeating stuff.
3 - Be passionate!
Passion is the often difference between the acceptable and the exceptional. That’s not actually a ripped off quote, this is my own opinion in what I’ve seen in various workplaces. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Subway Sandwich Artist or a Super Yacht Salesman, if you have passion for what you do, not only does it stand out but it brings the satisfaction that so many people struggle to find in a workplace.
Telling an employer about something that makes you passionate will really showcase your best attributes, as it is a much more natural way of presenting your skills.
If you’re passionate about hitting the gym, weekend football or meditation, tell them! You’ll come across as more authentic and the best employers will see through the activity itself and use this to get a true idea of how they can harness your passion within their business.
4 - Laughter is an instant vacation!
So this point is kind of split. Yes, there is a time and a place for humour.
Therefore you’ll have to make your own decision on whether this suits your personality type, the company you’re addressing and the role you’re applying for.
For example if you’re going for a role as a Content Writer then it may be suitable to drop a sarcasm filled story about how you got into writing to show your style. Maybe even a Customer Support Agent sharing the time they dealt with a hilariously difficult customer and how they persevered.
However, don’t be the clown. The person reading your letter might have a steel face and mistake your hilarity for immaturity so do proceed with caution on this one.
5 - Sell, sell, sell!
Give an example of something awesome you accomplished or achieved. What’s the difference?
Well, an achievement is more a personal goal you’ve reached. Whereas an accomplishment is more work specific, like a project you aced. Either one is fine, as long as you tie it back in to make it relevant for the role.
So if you’re going for a job in Sales, referring to a time you arranged a boat party for friends and brought 30 people along could be a fun way to demonstrate some key values like organisation and leadership.
6 - Be the prize!
You probably didn’t expect see a quote from Willie Nelson in an article about cover letters, but here it is anyway:
"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."
This is such a powerful mentality and you should bring it into everything you do, especially when hunting for a job.
Don’t be afraid to big yourself up and also don’t be afraid to back that up by being awesome. When you’re sat there writing your cover letter, be sure to be in a positive frame of mind and be thinking of the skills you HAVE, instead of the ones you don’t.
7 - Customise it!
Imagine an employer writes you a letter offering you a job, but puts someone else’s name on it. How would it make you feel? Bemused? Shocked? Unimportant? Disinterested?
Well, let us not make the same mistake as job seekers shall we? Each cover letter should be tailored and therefore you can directly reference the particular company you’re addressing.
As an example you could say: “Over at Apple, I know you believe in the simple, not the complex. This resonates with me as my approach to Customer Support is direct and effective.”
That's it, you're covered. Never be afraid of the “Attach Cover Letter” button again!
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