How to Write a Perfect Cover Letter for Job Applications

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A cover letter has only one task. To introduce you to the hiring manager or whoever you’re sending it to, for your job application.
Maybe you’ve met them before, in which case a perfect cover letter extends on the details you couldn’t fit in the resume. However, in most cases, you don’t get to see the hiring manager until you’re in the interview seat.
Now let me ask you this – What do you do when you meet someone for the first time? You try to impress them by showing off your personality while still being friendly. Right?
The same is true of a perfect cover letter for job applications. But a perfect cover letter takes it one step further.
It reminds the hiring manager there’s work to be done at their company and you’re the one who can do it. So, this is the part where you get creative.
By creative I mean – Do one simple thing in your perfect cover letter that sets you apart.
I’m guessing you’ve seen all the boring-as-hell cover letters out there. The ones that talk about qualifications, abilities etc., the whole deal.
But one important bit those boring cover letters often miss is – the focus on the actual reason why a company needs you. Focusing on only your abilities, skills, and great awards is fine. However, more effective is to shift the focus to a company’s needs and problems. After all, they need you to solve that exactly.
In simpler words, to land an interview with a company, you need to make the connection between two things – Your skills and how they can help in solving a company’s specific problems. Make the connection so obvious that a hiring manager can’t ignore you at any cost.

Here’s how to write a Perfect Cover Letter:

Introduce the pain points of the company in your perfect cover letter

Figure out a problem the company is trying to solve. And then lay it bare in the perfect cover letter. Doing so accomplishes two things:

  • It jolts the hiring manager out of his indifference to your perfect cover letter and he starts to take it seriously.
  • Now he knows you’ve solved similar problems or at least you’re familiar with them.

Example: Suppose you’re a PR professional applying at a high profile startup. They’re always in the news and you can pretty much guess their pain points. It’s their public image. People see them as the kind of company that doesn’t give back to the community and only believes in profits.
Now, here’s the tricky part – you can’t outright declare you’ll solve their problem. Don’t forget they also got brilliant people working on it.
Instead, say something like,

“As an experienced PR executive at XYZ agency, I’ve seen great brands struggle to keep the inbound sales steady when their own customers had a pretty negative perception of them.”

Now tell them what you can bring to the table (be very specific)

Remember when I told you to shift the focus to the employer? Well’ it’s time to bring the focus back to you again.
In this section of your perfect cover letter for job applications, introduce your skills (aka what makes you qualified for the job.)
Just don’t brag about it. Lay down all the facts and figures and let the hiring manager decide if you did a good job.
Also, don’t forget to connect your skills to the problem you just highlighted.
You could write,

“I’ve managed multiple brands simultaneously in my portfolio and brought a circulation reach of X while also aligning the key messaging by leveraging the right influencer channels. Further, as we successfully decoded the exact problem, I helped with generating a positive brand association which significantly turned the customer sentiment in favour of the brand.”

This example shows how you can talk about your achievements while being relevant to employer’s problem and at the same time sticking to figures, not just empty self-praise.

Make it personal. Put in a splash of your personality.

Say you’re a serious problem solver. The kind who doesn’t like to crack jokes when they’re decoding a really tough problem.
Now think of a guy with just an opposite personality. He loves slipping in one-liners or sarcastic comments in between tasks. But don’t mistake this guy as an incompetent one. He does the job just as well.
Now, do you think both their cover letters should be same? If yes, how do they make their strengths known? Maybe one company follows a fun culture while achieving targets, while another company is just put-your-head-down-and-finish-your-work type.  
So you see where one candidate will be preferred over the other even if they both have same qualifications. That’s the whole reason of writing a perfect cover letter for job applications with a hint of personal touch. 
You know who you are. You can decide which tone to use best in your cover letter for job applications. Just make sure you maintain a truly personal touch in your cover letter because whatever expectations you set, you’ll have to reach that bar during the interview.

Conclusion

Cover letter for job applications is a tricky play. If done right, you can score the interview of your lifetime. Just make sure you practice, prepare and read a few tips (like this one) and you’ll be all set to convert that elusive interview. And with that, I’ll take your leave.
In case you need more tips during your job hunt journey, here are a few things to get you started: 
5 Ready-To-Use Tips to Make Your Job Search Suck Less
5 Interview Myths that will Cost You the Job Interview
The Art of Decoding a Job Description (to Write a Killer Resume)
Happy job hunting.]]>

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