Do you know what will instantly double the effectiveness of a job application?
Hint: It’s not more resume points.
Your resume gives a snapshot of your achievements.
But your cover letter adds colour commentary.
Your cover letter is NOT meant to be a duplicate of your resume.
Instead, it introduces you as a confident human to the hiring manager and gives her more reasons WHY she should talk to you.
There are three steps to creating a great cover letter.
1. Choose your top 3 selling points.
2. Tell a story/proof for each.
3. Write with confidence.
Choose your top 3 selling points:
Remember your research? Go back to that. Pick out the pain points of the company, and then match those against your work experience.
Identify three points that position you as the best candidate for the company to hire.
If you don’t have points that map exactly to the requirements, don’t worry. Pick your strongest points.
-Can you show entrepreneurial drive?
-Has anyone important endorsed you?
-Have you taken initiatives or gone above and beyond your JD in your previous jobs?
-Do you have any demonstrable deep interest in the category the company is working in?
Tell a story/proof for each:
Stories drive engagement.
Remember, the cover letter is the space to provide colour commentary.
Use stories to drive home the points that you identified. Make them memorable.
Did you have to convince the boyfriend of a colleague to help you deliver 50 signed Lionel Messi football jerseys to Indonesia overnight to meet a retailer activation requirement?
Did you have to eat in dhabas and roadside restaurants all over Bangalore to test out home-style meals to see what problems your consumers were facing?
Stories help you land the point you are making.
Write with confidence:
Finally, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
Do not beat around the bush or qualify your beliefs.
One simple trick I use is:
“Before you read any further, I want to tell you a few reasons why I’m confident I can add value to ____________ (company name) as your _______________ (exact job title)”