The cover letter is an opportunity to help the hiring manager visualize you in their team and make them see that you are THE person for the job.
The most surprising thing about cover letters is weirdly they are not actually about the candidate, but if the candidate is a good match for the job and/or with the team.
Try to look at your cover letter as a person who would be reading it and potentially hiring you. To be honest, most probably a recruiter at a big corporate will not read it, they have just too many positions they are hiring for, and they literally just check your CV to see if you fit the requirements.
That is not necessarily the case with the hiring managers as they contrary to the recruiters will be most probably the ones working with you. This gives you space to: connect the information from your CV and show a little bit more of your personality.
This is an opportunity for you to stand out. Tell the hiring manager why they would benefit from hiring you for this position, what your real motivation behind this opportunity is, why you are interested specifically in their products, services, etc. You may even try mentioning something that would be a goal of yours to do or change on the market.
Introduce yourself with your name in the first sentence. The idea behind this is that the reader will connect the following text and the story with your name and therefore you as a person. It actually makes people feel like they already know you and they will start subconsciously visualizing you in the story you offer them. This works rather subliminally as it is more difficult to reject you now that they made the connection with you as a person.
Create a Vision
Generally, the easiest rule one should think of when writing a cover letter (when applying for a specific position) is to look at the job description (JD) and your profile and to see where your current experience matches the JD. A simple way how to do that is to literally answer what the company asks for in the job description.
Here is an example of what could stand in the job description:
Minimum of five years of international experience in a B2B environment, preferably in the professional hair care industry or a related industry such as cosmetics or fashion
And here is an example of how you can bring up something from your profile and your experience and connect it with this requirement in the job description.
“My journey in the beauty industry started XX years ago when I entered XX company as a trainee of XX. This taught me XX. This experience led me to XX which introduced me to the B2B environment.”
This way you would work your way through the job description. You don’t necessarily need to ‘answer’ everything on it, but try to do so with as many things as possible while sounding natural.
- Keep the cover letter between three to five paragraphs long.
- Try the structure according to the JD not according to your profile. Do not worry about causing confusion as the reader can also look back at the data on your CV to connect the dots.
- Keep the reader engaged throughout the text so that they keep being reassured of how good of a fit you are for the position.
- Show your real motivation and passion behind your application. Do not write bland sentences such as, “I am a highly motivated and self-driven individual.” That just looks like you copy-pasted it from some online template, but does not really say anything about you.
- Advice for the ladies: Do not worry about sounding arrogant. Women tend to downplay themselves so much. Very often I saw when men were applying for the same position, they would have half the skills of their female counterparts and they would ask for twice the amount of money. And guess what, they would often be the ones receiving the job offer. We, women, are wired differently, so at the moment when you think you might be sounding arrogant, you probably just sound confident. So don’t you dare downplay your journey and successes!
Are you ready to write a winning and successful cover letter and get one step closer to getting your dream job?
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