Cover letters and tea cozies! Cover letter tips
Adorable! Cover letters are not having the effect it used to have… 20 years ago. The last cover letter that I actually read (which was more than three years ago) started with the following words: “I am clad with the aura of excitement…” From that day onwards, cover letters just didn’t cut it anymore. For you see to me, cover letters are more for decorative purposes now, like tea cozies.
We’ve been spreading the news through our Jobzdojo Program and the rest of our CareerJunctionLtd business that personalized letters have replaced cover letters. It isn’t good enough anymore just to send a generic cover letter to ‘Whom it may concern’. You have to send a letter addressed to the hiring manager directly, showing that you did your research on the company, the role and the team in which the role exists. Hiring managers want to know who they’re dealing with, and they want to see your personality and value come through in your letter and your CV. A personalized letter makes a hiring manager’s life/job easier.
There is a great article written about a good cover letter replacement by one of the world’s leading HR influencers, Liz Ryan, which can be found here.
When writing a personalized letter to a hiring manager, always cover the following three things:
Start off by introducing yourself, and by explaining why you are writing the letter.“Hi John,My name is Clark Kent, and I’m writing this letter to you introduce myself, and to express my great interest in what you and your team at LutherCorp are doing.”
Prove that you’ve done research on the company, the hiring manager, current projects and the specific role that the hiring manager is recruiting for.“I first heard about LutherCorp when I was reading a recent edition of Time Magazine, and once I started reading more about the company and the mind blowing projects you and your team are involved in, I just had to know more, so I went through your website, your LinkedIn company page and the LuthorCorp twitter feeds, and I was even more enthralled. I am particularly interested in your current death ray project, and how you and your team managed to overcome the kryptonite distillation issue. My friends that work (or worked) at LuthorCorp told me about the awesome company culture, and how progressive the company is with regards to tech innovation. I felt I just had to know even more! While researching the company, and speaking with my contacts in the industry, I was made aware of an available role in your team for a QC Engineer with X-ray vision, and this piqued my interest quite a bit. I’d be keen to buy you a coffee and sit down with you to learn more.”
End off by reiterating your interest in where the company is heading, and how you’ll keep your eye on the business to keep informed; then ask for that coffee catch up.
“The most interesting thing about the last few months that I’ve been following and learning more about LuthoCorp, is that I’ve never come across a company that have launched and successfully completed so many complex, innovative projects, while still flying completely under the radar- it’s astounding! I have applied for the QC Engineer role within your team, and regardless of where my application goes from here, I will keep my eye on the business and I look forward to hearing more and more great things about the company in the years to come. I’d like to end off my letter with a request to meet with you face to face, even if it is just to shake the hand of an industry leader I can look up to, so with that, would you allow me to buy you a coffee at some stage over the next few weeks?”
If your letter doesn’t spark, at the very least, a smidgeon of interest, then the earth is about to drop off its axis for sure.