The cover letter is the expected norm when applying for a job. Traditionally, it should be four paragraphs explaining – as briefly as possible- who you are and how you heard of the opening, how your qualifications would benefit the company, why you say you would fit into that company and finally contact details, attachments and other nitty-gritty. Best advice that we could find on the net to "make your cover letter stand out" was to be yourself while taking time to craft your writing but advertise yourself – and do not come across as boring, but do not repeat your CV. Oh – and do not forget to have one format for when you're sending out a CV traditionally, and a different one for when you're applying online.
Mission Impossible just got a brand new perspective!
How much of the first paragraph did you skip? Come on – be honest.
What if that was someone's cover letter that you were reading? Just the format, of 6-7 lines clumped together turns you into the speed-reader that you did not know you were!
See how easy it is to not have YOUR it read?
Did you also know that it gets approximately 8 seconds to make an impact?
Which brings us to the question of originality. How many times have YOU copied and pasted a sample from the internet, changed around a few words and lines and then beamed proudly at your "professional cover letter"?
Do a Twitter search for #coverletter and see how many formats turn up, as well as the huge amount of advice flying around. You'll also notice that you're not the only person applying for a job. There are not that many great cover letters out there that someone else did not get struck by that same bright spark.
From the perspective of a person reading hundreds of cover letters a day, a familiar pattern emerges and they quickly skip the essentiality of the cover letter to scan your cv with a hire-or-trash agenda.
No wonder questions like Can you help me with how to write a letter to a Doctor for sharing my service with his service go unanswered.
Now – imagine your cover letter being a diagram of you – or better – an infographic map of you. You do not have to watch your grammar, format, layout, spacing, too much info, too little info … It arranges all your offerings, intuitively placed, in a colorful, creative way that straight-away tells the employer that:
- You are confident.
- You think out of the box.
- You are organized.
- You have critical thinking skills.
- You have excellent communication skills.
- You manage your time constructively.
- You have problem solving skills.
And most of these are essential soft skills that can turn any job-hunter into an employee because – let's face it – you can not really list all your soft skills on your CV or cover letter. Changing the way you look on paper, can speak volumes in your physical absence.
Do not let your potential employer speed read your resume.
Mission Impossible just got doable.