You can enjoy writing your cover letter AND make it “wow!” hiring managers. I’ll prove it!
If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably searching for a new job. That means that you’ll want to make sure your portfolio is in top shape! Check out my free guide to learn what writing samples you can create to freshen up your work and boost your application:
Your cover letter is where you have free reign to really strut your stuff. This is where you’ll make your lasting impression, show your personality, and give your reader a good peek into who you are.
Here are the top seven ways to rock your cover letter AND have fun with it:
- 1. Talk about something not on your resume.
- The hiring manager can already read about your past job titles, skills, and achievements on your resume, so there’s no need to repeat it. Consider your cover letter as a complement to your resume.
- 2. Think of a specific moment in your life that you can relate back to this opportunity.
- For example, if I was applying for a content writing job, I could write about the first blog post I ever published and how nervous I was but excited about this new step. I could mention how the feeling of seeing my words published for others to read felt so good and I was instantly hooked.
- You could also talk about something that happened for a specific project you worked on and something you learned from it. Really hone in on one moment in time and paint a picture that shows your passion or further demonstrates your skillset. You just want to resist repeating or listing everywhere you’ve worked that appears on your resume.
- 3. Make sure it’s not something that anyone could submit.
- This goes back to being specific. Anyone could say that they have many years of experience or they had a couple jobs in their field or have had a lifelong passion for writing. That’s generic. Write something that only you could write. If someone else could replace your name with theirs, then you should revise.
- 4. Use it as a way to show your confidence.
- Remember, this piece is marketing yourself! The cover letter is a tool to show them what you got. Don’t just say that you have the experience needed for this role, show it.
- 5. Proofread.
- When you’re applying to a writing role, you don’t want errors! This kinda goes without saying, but really pay attention to grammar, punctuation, overall flow, organization, sentence structure…everything that goes into a perfectly polished piece of writing.
- 6. Write a different cover letter for each application.
- I know this takes time, but trust me. If you tailor your cover letter for each job and add that personalized touch to them, the hiring managers will notice. They’re good at recognizing when you just replace the name of the company in your standard cover letter template and send.
- Take a look at the job description, pick out something they’re looking for, and write a story surrounding that.
- 7. Tailor the naming convention of your cover letter file.
- Save it as “[firstname] [lastname]_[company name]_[job title]_[cover letter] [year]”. This way, they have your name on the file, what position you’re applying for, and most importantly—that this cover letter was written for them. Think about how many “cover letter_[firstname] [lastname]” files they receive…you will certainly stand out way better with these little details!
Tell your story. Hook them in with why you are the way you are. Keep them reading by taking them on an adventure that ends in why you are meant for their open opportunity. This is also your time to not only show why you’re right for the role, but how you can write in an engaging, interesting way.
You’ll also want to format the letter a particular way to look as professional as possible. For me, I write the date in the top right corner and their address at the top on the left. Address it to the whole company and sign it with your full name and phone number at the bottom. Always put your phone number anywhere you sign your name (even in emails) so nobody has to work hard to find your phone number when (hopefully) they will need it to contact you!
Download my cover letter template below when you’re ready to get writing:
Have fun with this! The more fun you have writing it, the better it will sound and the more memorable your cover letter will be.
And once you start getting interviews, learn about how to write a killer interview follow-up email to really leave a lasting impression.
Best of luck to you 🙂
Don’t forget about the guide to help you create your next writing samples!