When you find a job you’d like to apply for, how do you approach writing your cover letter? If you’re like most people, it’s with a groan of apprehension rather than a skip and a hop up of elation. You don’t have to be a wordsmith to write a great cover letter. You just need to understand is what motives the employer is seeking to accomplish in hiring this position.
Related: How To Write A Hot Cover Letter
What in no means ever motivates an employer, is your increased learning and success. Employers are not interested in what the position will do for you or what working for their organization will do for your career. They don’t care about how you will learn and grow under their tutelage. Even if you are seeking an internship which by definition is a learning opportunity, internship supervisors have a definite agenda for what will be accomplished for them and their organization.
Instead of following a boring form template where employers are encouraged to skip to the second paragraph, show your passion up front. They likely know what position you are applying for. Instead of stating it up front, talk about your connection to the company or position. You want to get them interested in you from ‘hello’ so that they feel compelled to continue reading.
Try to create an emotional connection through storytelling. If you are looking to be a financial advisor, dig into your personal experiences to demonstrate passion and commitment.
“When I was 8 I started my first business. I knew I wanted to go to college and set out to create a financial plan to get me there. I figured if I could mow 10 neighbors’ lawns for $30/week for each summer until I graduated high school and invested each summer’s earnings in a college investment fund, I’d be able to afford 4 years of tuition at a state university. Now I want to help others reach their financial goals.”
You can also appeal to the mission of the company. Find a way to relate your values or a personal experience to what the company does or its mission.
If you were applying to a job at Chipotle your cover letter might look like this:
“When I was growing up my family planted a garden every year. We ate from our garden all summer long and canned veggies each fall for the winter months. I’ll never forget when we ran out of tomatoes and had to get them from the store. It was so disappointing! Ever since, I’ve been a supporter of locally sourced non-GMO produce which is why I feel such a connection to Chipotle’s mission.”
Here are some other points to remember:
- Do not repeat facts from your resume. This should be a unique document. If you repeat facts, you’ll lose interest of your readers. You want both your documents to be read top to bottom.
- Quantify whenever possible. Do you have 8 years of experience in the field? Have you saved an employer a significant amount of money with a process improvement or change of vendor? Weave your quantifiables into your stories, don’t just leave them hanging.
Next time you are faced with a cover letter to write, get excited about the potential stories you can tell. Make it personal and let your motivation and values take center stage through compelling stories and numbers. It’s time to let people know about the genius of you!
If this is the job you want, you owe it to yourself to do everything in your power to be noticed. Your job is to impress, so get to work!
About The Author
Jennifer Manhoff is a career coach over at CareerHMO.com. Her mission is to guide people on the personal journey of uncovering a career path that is true to their authentic self and to be empowered to go for it! Life is a journey, so is your career and she’d like the opportunity to support you in your next step. Check out her coaching page here.