Cover letters get results, when they are written well. They won’t get you a job, but they can prevent you from getting an interview.
Action Oriented Cover Letter: Get through the door.
by Jinesh Parekh
Communication begins with your email application; with a cover letter and resume. Then it is followed up with a face to face interview and if you are fortunate, it ends up happily with number negotiations.
The cover letter is often mistaken to be secondary to the resume. You spend more time crafting your resume than your cover letter. In fact, you should be spending equivalent or more time on your cover letter than your resume. Your cover letter is your pitch to get through that glass door.
Understand that, the intent of a cover letter is to instigate the action of setting up a face to face interview. Cover letters that instigate action are known as “Action-Oriented” cover letters.
You want to be remarkable in your cover letter to instigate action. Below are some tips to create an “Action-Oriented” cover letter:
SAY NO TO COVER LETTER TEMPLATES
In order to be different, you have to sound different too. Achieving remark-ability can be done under the cover of humor or entertainment or passion or anything else that showcases your individuality. Whatever you do, ensure you sound genuine.
SAY NO TO STANDARD SUBJECT LINE
Can you come up with a creative subject line, which is clear and makes the reviewer open up your email? That is known as “Action-Oriented” subject line. The goal of the subject line should be to make the reviewer open your mail and look inside. If you intrigue them rightly, you have more of their attention while reviewing the rest of your application.
SAY NO TO LONG LIST OF SKILLS
List of skills are boring. Instead talk about what you can do for them. Show them, how you could make them money or save them money. Tell them, how could you help branding them differently or take them to the next level. Intrigue them by stating what you can do for them, rather than stating what you got.
By doing that you are saving a step for the reviewer. They do not have to map your skills to the requirements. Instead they now know what’s in it for them.
GIVE THEM A TRAILER
Movie trailer is the best examples of instigating action to make you watch a movie. Share your trailer. Create your YouTube video and share it with them.
Elevator pitch platforms like Mind Your Pitch, enables you to create your pitch and upload your video to do just that. It gives you a dedicated page for your pitch. Your page is Google friendly too and you never know who will find you here.
Apply for one position and one position only, through one cover letter. It is important you do not say you can do back office as well as marketing. That will show lack of passion.
WRITE DIFFERENT, SOUND DIFFERENT
Do not simply read the text in your cover letter when you pitch yourself in the video or during your face to face interview. Words have different impact “when written” than “when spoken”. You must use different set of words and sentences, when you engage in written communication as compared to engaging in verbal communication. Certainly maintain the same gist, but chose your words carefully.
So Unleash your creativity and good luck with your job hunt. Feel free to reach out to me at jparekh[at]idyllic-software[dot]com if you need help building your cover letter.
Jinesh Parekh is the founder of a Ruby on Rails Development shop, Idyllic Software. Idyllic Software provides web development services to companies to help them build their businesses. You can follow Jinesh @idyllicsoftware.