Note – We’re in our 3rd and final installation of our “How to Write an Effective Cover Letter” series. If you missed reading the previous posts, you can read the first post here, and the second one here.
If you’re reading this, then you must’ve enjoyed reading the first 2 posts that I shared about writing an effective cover letter.
Great! I’m glad that you enjoyed reading them.
However, I hope you weren’t JUST reading. I hope you took the time to implement the ideas, otherwise, you’d have missed out on a lot of opportunities — job opportunities at that.
Remember that our goal here is not just to give you techniques on how to write an effective cover letter — this isn’t just a mental exercise. More than equipping you with the knowledge, my goal is to REALLY help you get more jobs.
Of course, I won’t be able to do that if you won’t act on the things that you’ve learned. That being said, don’t just be a learner, but be a “doer” as well OK?
Let’s proceed to our last 3 tips.
1. Keep ’em short and crisp.
Ideally, I would keep my cover letter’s length at 3 – 4 paragraphs. I feel that anything more than that might be a bit too lengthy.
However, this also depends on the kind of information that your prospect employers are asking on the job listing that they posted.
If I see something generic, where they aren’t asking for any information in particular, I just make sure that my cover letter contains these 6 things:
- My rates.
- My portfolio
- The best method that they can contact me in.
- How they can benefit from me.
- My scarcity element.
- My special hook (like freebies).
Imagine. If you’re looking to hire someone; won’t you feel that all the information that you need about the applicant is within these 6 points?
That’s what we’re trying to accomplish (see article number 2).
I know that the points may seem a lot. However, if you’ll be very careful with your choice of words, I promise you that you’ll be able to add all of these in a 3 – 4 paragraph cover letter.
2. Mention someone famous in their industry.
When you mention familiar names on your cover letters, the person screening it will tend to think that you’re quite knowledgeable about the industry. They’ll think that you are “one of them”. Look up the term Homophily, and you’ll understand why this technique will increase your chances of getting hired.
When I tried applying for a content marketing project, I mentioned that I’m an avid follower of Neil Patel of Quicksprout.com, or Brian Dean of Backlinko.com.
My having mentioned the names of these influencers will almost often strike a cord to the one reading my cover letters. I know this to be true since more often than not, my prospective employers would reply telling me that they’re a huge fan of both influencers too.
Of course, at this point, they’ve already considered me as a strong candidate for the job, otherwise, they won’t even bother replying.
If you’d like to take things further, instead of simply saying that you’re an avid follower of the influencers, you can tell your prospects that you tailor your output based on the kind output that these influencers are publishing. You can then add more weight to your words by adding your portfolio.
Here’s a thought. Why don’t you try putting yourself on the client’s shoes this time.
Let’s say that your business is all about internet marketing, and you’re looking for a writer to publish blog posts consistently on your website.
You then read a cover letter where the applicant said something along the lines of…
“If you like reading the articles over at Backlinko or QuickSprout, then you’ll love my articles too! I tailor my write-up’s quality based on their writing sstyle. These are some of my previous works…
– Article 1
– Article 2
– Article 3”
If your samples are in fact what you say they are (their qualities are tailored based on the quality guidelines of the influencers), then I promise you that you’ll be way ahead of other applicants!
* Note – use this strategy if you’re walking the talk. If you feel that your output isn’t on the same level as the quality of work the that influencer you quoted is publishing, don’t even bother using this.
3. Insert a testimonial from your previous clients.
Have you ever read Robert Cialdini’s, Six Key Principles of Influence? I have. And it was such a game changer for me.
One of the things that really caught my attention was his point about social proof.
The idea is, people will tend to do things that they see others are doing. For example, when you’re in a crowded place, and you saw the people around you looking at the sky, you will tend to look at the sky yourself.
Such is the power of social proof.
Social proof is the reason why most ecommerce sites take the time to show the number of sold inventory of their products. Because their web visitors can see that others are buying the product, it makes it easier for them to make the decision to buy the product themselves.
In your case, adding a short testimonial from your previous clients will tell your prospect client that other businesses are using your service — and they’re happy with it.
The testimonial will act as your social proof.
Do you have any tips on how to write an effective cover letter?
We’re at the end of our How to Write an Effective Cover Letter series. At this point, there’s nothing left for you to do but to implement the tips that we’ve talked about across all 3 posts.
If you’ve applied some of the tips and are reaping results from it, please take the time to share your experience in the comments section below.
Also, if you found this post valuable, please take 3 seconds of your time to click the “Share” buttons. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Cheers!