Finding a job is a process. First you need ample experience, then the right contacts, an online presence, and a tailored resume.
Lastly, you need a cover letter that represents you and your brand. Your cover letter could be your only chance at getting the attention of a potential employer.
After all, it may be the first thing they see, so it needs not only be an accurate portrayal of you, but also stand out from the sea of competition.
So, how can you fix a drab cover letter and get noticed by influencers?
Make it short and sweet. Cover letters don’t need to be five pages long. In fact, many cover letters and resumes are not read if they are excessive. Think about it. Would you read 30+ cover letters, all of which are like short stories? Probably not. Instead, why not make your cover letter short and to the point? That way, an employer will be able to understand what you’re all about without having to plow through tons of text.
Use a different layout. If you’ve been sending out tons of applications and not getting many responses, it may be time to spruce things up and use a different layout. Leave your boring, uncustomized layout behind. Here is your chance to put your spin on a cover letter through design. Further, you could also use this as an opportunity to merge your online life with your offline materials by using the same fonts or color scheme. Just make sure to keep it clean and not too cluttered. There’s nothing worse than viewing a cover letter that’s all over the place.
Show why you will be an asset. Just like your resume, your cover letter is an opportunity to show results and tell a story. What can you do that’s different from the rest? How will your experience and knowledge help move the company forward? Why should an employer pick you over the next guy?
Your cover letter may be the only chance you get to answer the questions above, so make it count by showing why you are an asset. Tell your own unique story by showing how you got to where you are today. Further, think about using real numbers, especially percentage growth, number of clients gained, conversions, etc. It all boils down to this: How did you make a difference?
Link to your social networks. These days, social networking platforms are the place many employers learn more about you. Why not give them the resources they need upfront? Think about including links to your blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or even a combination of your search results with a free Vizibility SearchMe link or QR code. This way, you give a potential employer all the tools they need beforehand, making their lives a lot easier and your online brand the platform it needs.
How do you spruce up your cover letter?
Guest Expert: June 25, 2011
James Alexander is Vizibility’s founder and CEO. He’s the guy with two first names. If you ‘Googled’ his name in 2009, you would never have found him. Now, he ranks within the first few results of a Google search. Find James in Google at vizibility.com/james.