What’s the only part of the job search people hate more than networking?
We already get the heebie-jeebies talking about ourselves, and now we have to spend an entire page writing about ourselves too? Yuch.
What’s more frustrating is that cover letters don’t even get you the job; they mostly keep you from getting crossed off the list of candidates while you’re landing the job through networking.
But if you've networked your way in and still are being asked to submit a cover letter, you need one, and it has to be strong.
Most candidates make two mistakes when writing cover letters.
- They spend too much time dumping all their work experience into the letter (making it an unnavigable stream of content).
- They then spend too little time tailoring the letter to the specific opportunity (let’s be honest -- we’ve all quickly replaced the company name on a generic letter...). Sadly, both mistakes prevent you from making a clear and compelling presentation to your prospective employer.
This is why I teach my clients the template for writing dynamite cover letters in 30 minutes.
The secret to this template is that just like any interview question, the question you’re really responding to when writing a cover letter is “Why should I hire you?”
Your prospective employer doesn’t want your life story or a narrative recap of your resume. They want the top 2-3 reasons (max!), with supporting evidence, that you’re the best fit for the role. So why not just give it to them straight?
Click here to request our plug-and-play template and 30-minute cover letter guide that will have you cranking out dynamite cover letters like nobody's business in no time.
The added bonus
One of my favorite Tim Ferriss quotes is “Even if this fails, what other benefits can I derive from it?” The magic of this template is that it also prepares you for the interview.
After following our step-by-step guide, what you'll have in your letter is a stellar response to the always-asked question “Why are you interested in this position?” You'll be able to state clearly and succinctly why you are the perfect fit for this role.
Even if you’re interviewing for a similar role at a different company, you’ll have already done the hard work of asking yourself what positions you to succeed in this role and this industry. The content becomes your persuasive professional narrative that you’ll use over and over again.
I should mention that I have seen seriously strong cover letters that get creative by including pictures or pledges or unique personal touches. This is particularly effective when crafting outreach emails to prospective employers you’re dying to work for, but it also requires more finesse, time, and risk.
You can rest assured that this is the strongest “bang for your 30-minute buck” option.
I touched on this briefly above, but it's so, sooo important that you take away this point:
In you want to succeed in today's job market: never, ever, EVER write a cover letter unless you know someone is going to read it.
If you've found a position online and are interested in applying, do NOT waste time tailoring your resume, creating a cover letter and perfecting your online application.
These three statistics say it all:
- The average online job posting today receives over 250 applications
- Only 40% of available jobs are even posted online!
- And 85% of today's jobs are landed through networking
So before putting a pen to paper, it's to your benefit (and almost required) to first get your foot in the door.
Not only do you deserve that the content you invest your heart and energy into actually gets read and respected. But as a job seeker, your time is tremendously precious. Spend it wisely!