Amazing officemates, cool boss, fresh and free snacks in the office vending machine, exciting things to look forward to everyday? Hmm. Sounds like your dream job, right?
You know how you’re going to get it? By quickly showing your future employer that:
- You’re going to perform incredibly well in this job;
- You’re insanely likeable; and
- You’re really going to fit in.
These are the primary factors that influence the selection process. If you concisely and eloquently answer these three, your chances of getting a call is pretty high. And the best place to do this (other than your actual resume) is through a killer cover letter.
Unfortunately for most applicants, they consider the cover letter as just another paper in the long list of stuff-to-submit and completely squander the opportunity of using the cover letter to their advantage. They’d toss over bland, cliche-filled, or completely-redundant-to-the-resume clunkers. Or worse, they showcase all the things that they want out of the deal, without pausing for a moment to recognize that the company cares a heck of a lot more about what it’s going to get from you.
Our recruiters admit that it pains them to see most cover letters, because majority of them suck. And on those rare occasions when a brilliant cover letter comes in on that incoming pile of papers, oh, that makes any recruiter’s day.
So, what’s the anatomy of a great cover letter? And, how do you pull it off? Four things: Love, passion, story, and humor. That’s all it takes to pull off a killer cover letter.
Love. Tell them why you are interested in the company (because you love them).
Decision makers never want to feel like you’re wallpapering the universe with the same pathetic cover letter examples. They want to feel special. And truth be told, many companies want to hire people who already know their brand (and probably love, eat, and sleep their brand). They want you to tell them you love them.
So, a little flattery would be a great kick. While you’re at it, you might also want to try and tell a story. Studies show that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone.
Just remember, though: You are not a fangirl. You are an applicant genuinely interested in the company and the job. Flatter wisely.
Here are some good examples:
- Though I’m happily employed as a digital marketing officer for EXO, seeing the job description for Sysgen’s Junior Developer stopped me in my tracks. I’ve been a Sysgen web app fan many years, and have always been impressed by the way the company treats its customers, employees, and the community at large.
- Having grown up with the Lake Caliraya (literally) in my backyard, I understand first-hand how you’ve earned your reputation as one of the most family-friendly venues in Lumban, Laguna. For 20 years, I’ve been impressed as your customer; now I want to impress visitors in the same way your team has so graciously done for me.
Passion. Tell them why you are interested in the job (and what you walk through the doors and deliver).
What makes a person do better at what they do aside from skills? One word – passion. Companies admit that they are looking for people who not only have the skills, but who are also passionate about what they’re spending their time on every day. After establishing your proposition of passion, briefly tell them what you can bring to the company and how they will benefit from you.
Let your resume speak for your skills. But in your cover letter, make them see and feel that passion, and value.
- If loving data is wrong, I don’t want to be right. It seems like the rest of the team at Sysgen feels the same way—and that’s just one of the reasons why I think I’d be the perfect next ETL Developer. (Passion towards data management)
- After about three years of trying out different roles at early-stage start-ups, watching more “find your passion” keynotes than I’d like to admit, and assuring my parents that, yes, I really do have a real job, I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I’m only really good at two things: writing great content and getting it out into the world. (Passion for content generation and curation)
Story. Tell a story that is not in your resume (and that will make you stand out).
Remember what I told you earlier – that stories are more memorable than mere facts? You are better off with stories than just a mere narrative of wants and to-dos.
Remember that the competition for a particular job is tough. And most probably a lot of competitors are similarly qualified people. So, the need to stand out is imperative. The best way to do that is to highlight something uniquely you.
- My last boss once told me that my phone manner could probably diffuse a hostage situation. That comment is probably due to my knack for communicating with people. Now. I’d love to bring that skill to the Technical Recruiter position at Sysgen. (A character trait)
- Over the last 10 years, I’ve built my career on one simple principle: Work smarter. I’m the person who looks for inefficient procedures, finds ways to streamline them, and consistently strives to boost the productivity of everyone around me. It’s what’s earned me three promotions in the supply chain department at my current company, and it’s what I know I can do as the new operations analyst for Sysgen. (A guiding principle)
Humor. Let your humor and creativity grab attention.
Disclaimer: Research everything about the company, the person who will read your letter, before attempting something like this. Find out if they’ll appreciate some sass or snark. If you think they will, then literally make them smile or giggle. But if you’re unsure, don’t take the risk or the joke’s on you.
Here are a few example’s grabbed from The Muse:
- I’m interested in the freelance writer position. But before I blow you away with all the reasons I’m going to be your next writer, I would like to tell you a little about myself: I didn’t grow hair until I was about five years old, which made everyone who crossed my stroller’s path believe me to be a boy (my name is Casey, which definitely didn’t help). Hope I got your attention. (Via @CaseCav)
- If we were playing “Two Truths and a Lie,” I’d say the following: I’ve exceeded my sales quotas by at least 20% every quarter this year, I once won an international pie-eating contest, and I have an amazing job at Sysgen. The last, of course, is the lie. For now.
- I considered submitting my latest credit card statement as proof of just how much I love online shopping, but I thought a safer approach might be writing this cover letter, describing all the reasons why I’m the girl who can take STYLIGHT’s business to the next level.
- I never thought that accidentally dropping my iPhone out of a second story window would change my life (it’s a funny story—ask me about it). But thanks to my misfortune, I discovered iCracked—and found my dream job as an expansion associate.
Source: The Muse
If you have other great cover letter ideas, share them with us. Or, if you have a killer cover letter ready, why not put it to test and try great opportunities at Sysgen?