The Art of Writing a Good Cover Letter

Writing a good cover letter is more of an art than a science and you need to treat it this way when you write one. No matter what the so called job experts tell you (and there are lots of these online), if you submit a template you find on the net or in a book, your chances of getting a job interview are greatly diminished. You need a totally unique cover letter oozing with personality and charm.

Your cover letter needs to make you sound like such an interesting person the hiring manager might want to have coffee or a beer with you. That’s really the secret to writing a good cover letter. It isn’t about sounding the most professional or producing the same old mundane professional babble that most people submit. It’s about pushing the right buttons with the hiring manager to pick you to interview. You need to make yourself so interesting the hiring manager really wants to meet you.

You need to think like an artist when writing a good cover letter. Your medium is language so be creative with it. There are many self-appointed online job gurus who will surely disagree with me. They will tell you to be professional. They will show you a “job getting” formula to follow as if writing a cover letter was a scientific discipline. I’m here to tell you that science it’s not! In fact, it’s the exact opposite from science. I know because I work in a job center and I’ve seen first hand what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve helped a wide variety of people from start to finish as they begin a job search to the point where they actually get a new job. This includes everyone from recent college grads to older people looking to start a new career. Across the board, cookie cutter “formula” letters hardly ever work. Remember, with the hiring manager, you are dealing with a human being not a machine. You will do yourself a great favor if you come across as more human in your letter. People need to be able to relate to you in some way.

The best analogy I can think of is to compare a real painting to a paint-by-number painting. Think how easy it is to spot one of those fakes. Real paintings have the ability to inspire. On the other hand, there’s a reason paint-by-number paintings don’t hang in art museums or get sold at auctions. Real paintings have real value whereas paint-by-number paintings are just poor imitations. If you want to inspire the hiring manager to call you in for an interview, you need to create a real painting. You need a totally unique letter with some razzle dazzle language. You need to think like an artist and paint magic with words (or get a really good software package that will do this for you).

Here’s another piece of advice and it’s very important that you take special note of this. Your goal should actually not be writing a good cover letter. Instead, your goal should be writing a GREAT cover letter. In fact, you want your letter to be THE best letter in the entire stack of job applications. Let me offer you a simplified example of just why this is so important. Suppose we have two candidates that are equally qualified for a job. Candidate A has a good cover letter and a great resume (more job applicants fall into this category). Candidate B has a great cover letter and a good resume (a very tiny percentage of job candidates and the reverse of candidate A). Which one do you think has a better chance of getting the job? Go ahead and guess. Candidate B has a better chance, in fact a MUCH better chance of getting the job. You do need a good resume that is formatted professionally and is nicely organized and readable. However, once you reach that threshold for your resume, your energy would be far better spent working on creating a great cover letter to go with that resume. Most hiring managers do their initial sorting by looking at these letters. They also get their initial impression of the job seeker from them and like with all human beings initial impressions tend to stick.

I know what you’re thinking. This all sounds good but it’s hard to write in such an inspirational way the hiring manager calls you in for an interview. BUT WAIT… I HAVE REALLY GOOD NEWS… My niece and I discovered software when we were working on her cover letter that was created by a true marketing genius. It asks you some questions and then generates a totally unique cover letter sprinkled with magical marketing words and phrases. The cover letters this software creates are truly amazing. I recommend this software to ALL of my clients and many of them have gotten jobs because of it. Check out my Cover Letter Help website to learn more about it: http://cover-letter-help.blogspot.com/

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