You’ve seen it before. You’re in the middle of a job application. You’ve spent around… say, twenty minutes, filling out your information, answering questions, touching up your resume. You click, “Next,” and there it is.
“Submit your cover letter (optional).”
So this week, we’re giving you our Cover Letter Short-List, to help you land that interview you want.
- No, It’s not optional.
- The more concise, the better.
- Confidence is Key.
OPTIONAL = SUBMIT
Finding a job is hard enough. Let’s not fight with ourselves here. If you ever see the words “Optional,” submit it. Imagine how many other people are sitting on their computers and applying to the same job. Standing out is a tall order, and taking advantage of any opportunity you can is crucial.
A cover letter can provide information and context about you that a resume alone cannot. Think about the massive amounts of job applications firms receive daily. You need to make yourself known!
The More Concise, The Better
Let’s go back to thinking about the number of applications firms receive daily. It’s a lot. Google gets two million job applications a year. Obviously, that’s Google, but our point is that the length of a cover letter is important, but what’s even more important is its conciseness. Being able to deliver your point as quickly as possible is the best way to show an employer what you bring to the table.
A lot of people like to focus on what they’ve done in the past, and that is okay. The problem is that it is painfully easy to get caught up in speaking about our experiences, and we forget the main purpose of a cover letter is to sell ourselves. If all we discuss in our cover letters are our experiences, what differentiates them from our resumés?
Try to trim the fat on your cover letter and really drill down into what it is you bring to the table. Your resume displays your experiences, but your cover letter explains why these experiences make you a good fit for a specific role. In the words of the great Gordon Ramsey,“Just describe the bloody dish.”
Confidence is Key.
To sum it all up, the point of a cover letter is to explain how you can help a firm, not necessarily how great you are. Try to start thinking the job poster’s point of view. If I am a job poster, I want to know why I should give someone a chance… what can they do for me?
“I bring X, Y, and Z to the table which would make me a great fit for…” Train yourself to start thinking in this way and your cover letter will really start to catch some more eyes and with some luck, land you that interview. Confidence is key.
Still unsure of where to start? For the next week, every new subscriber will receive an exclusive cover letter template, courtesy of your friends over at The Success Bug. This will hopefully give you a great foundation to find your own style. Good luck!