We hope you’ve been enjoying our Apply & Get Noticed series. If you missed the first two lessons, you can check them out right here:
For the third lesson we take a look at how to use your Cover Letter to get to the interview table. Of all your job-search documents, in our opinion the cover letter is the most important. It’s the key to getting that coveted interview. In this lesson we teach you how to make your cover letter spellbinding; how to get the employers attention; and most important, to get them to say “Yes!”
Get Invited To A Job Interview Every Single Time
What if you could greatly increase your odds of getting invited to an interview for the jobs you apply for? Even if you’re new to the job market, changing careers, and don’t have a ton of relevant experience? That would be pretty sweet, right?
Well, it’s totally possible with a great cover letter.
Most job seekers have it backwards. They put too much of their emphasis in writing their resume and look at the cover letter as some bane formality of the process. Wrong!! The resume is the necessary evil out of the two, and you should put most of your time and energy writing EPIC cover letters. [FREE Guide: How To Write An Irresistible Cover Letter]
And for every single job you apply for, you should be prepared to research the position and the company and craft a unique cover letter for each and every one.
Your Goal: Make it Spellbinding
The definition of spellbinding perfectly encapsulates your mission in writing a cover letter:
Spellbinding (adj): holding one’s attention completely as though by magic; fascinating.
Now before you start doubting your writing ability and start thinking that maybe other people can write spellbinding cover letters but you can’t, let us tell you that YOU CAN! Getting the hiring manager’s undivided attention is not about being a wordsmith or a poet. It’s about keeping the focus of your cover letter on them and how they’ll benefit if they hire you.
Let me repeat: the cover letter is about them; it’s an opportunity for you to convince them that you’re the right candidate by telling them how you’ll benefit them.
We cover this topic extensively on both our blog and our Apply Yourself eBook, but in essence, your cover letter is a sales letter. Your cover letter is not about telling the employer how excited you would be if you got a job with them or how you’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this to come along … that’s about you.
All you have to do to have a spellbinding cover letter is to address the main objective of the position for which you’re applying for (i.e. to increase company sales), and then outline a plan on how you would do that.
You will want to connect your ability to do the job to previous experience or achievements as a way to validate your claim, but even if your past experience is thin, you can still convince the hiring manager to invite you to an interview by detailing how you’ll succeed in their position.
Alright, you know how you’re going to write your cover letter so that is positions you as the person who will help them reach their goals in business. Great! But in order for you to get them to read your spellbinding cover letter, you have to get their attention and get them to actually read your cover letter. It may not seem fair, but the truth is that many cover letters go unread, and applications discarded, because the beginning of the cover letter fails to capture the attention of the person reading it.
Almost guaranteed killers are: “To whom it May Concern” or “My name is ________“.
In our Apply Yourself book, we share several different strategies that are great in getting and keeping a hiring manager’s attention when reading your resume, but here’s a trick:
Get Them To Say “Yes”
Start your cover letter with a question (geared toward them and the job) and make it so the obvious answer is “yes”. For example;
Would you like the person you hire to increase sales by 20% in 6 months?
Are you looking for a manager who motivates their team and leads by example?
See what is going on there? By getting the employer to answer “yes”, you’re generating an emotional response. People make decisions as a result of their emotions, not because of facts. And this is the main reason why we love cover letters and dislike resumes. There is no place in a resume for emotion, and certainly no way you’re going to generate an emotional response from your resume.
If done well, the opposite is true for your cover letter.
Ready to Enroll?
Was this lesson helpful? Enroll today to receive all five Apply & Get Noticed lessons sent right to your email. These tools and strategies are designed to improve your chances of getting hired. Here are the lessons you’ll receive;
- Apply to the Right Jobs, the Right Way
- The Resumé is Overrated, But Still Important
- Get Invited to Interview Every Single Time
- Answering The Tough Interview Questions
- The Ugly Art of Salary Negotiation