Note – this is the second installation of our, how to write an effective cover letter series. If you missed reading the first part, you can click this link to read it now. How have you been doing with your job application lately? Have you been getting better results from implementing the tips that I shared on the previous posts?
If you did get a response from your prospective clients from having used the tips, then please be sure to share your story in the comments section below. For now, allow me to continue with 3 more tips that you can use, to help make your cover letters even more effective.
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1. Give them the information they need to make the hiring decision immediately.
One of the things that annoyed me when I was hiring people was the fact that their cover letters were lacking.
I reviewed some cover letters where I felt that the applicant was a good fit for the job. However, they didn’t include some samples of their previous work, or they didn’t include how much they would charge for doing the tasks that I described in my job post.
Of course, because I didn’t have all the information that I needed, I couldn’t make the decision to hire the applicant right. I would have to send them a message, wait for them to reply, then be able to make the decision at that point.
It’s a bit of a hassle, isn’t it?
I would have been able to hire the applicant, but because the information he shared in his cover letter isn’t complete, I would have to wait for him to reply to my questions. And depending on the timezone, I almost always end up getting replies 12 hours to 24 hours after.
If I found it to be quite annoying, I promise you that you prospective clients would most probably feel the same way as well. Heck, you’d probably feel the same way yourself.
So instead of compelling your clients to click the next applicant to review what they have to offer, I urge you to include ample amount of information on your cover letter that would enable your prospective clients to make the decision right then and there.
For the most part, these are the things that they would most certainly need:
- Your quote/fee for doing the described task.
- Your portfolio so they can have a solid grasp of the kind of quality that they can expect.
- Your best contact info. You can add your Skype name, phone number or your email.
Those points are the basic ones, of course. You also need to review their job posts to see if they’re asking for other details to be able to make the decision. You may refer part 1 of writing an effective cover letter for previous tips.
2. Use positive scripting for an effective cover letter.
A pro salesperson won’t ask you whether or not you’ll buy what they’re selling, they’ll give you a choice instead.
They don’t ever go to you asking if you’d like to buy a car, they’ll ask whether you’d like to buy the blue, or the red one.
Because of how they’re positioning their questions, it becomes harder for their prospective clients to say “no”. Instead, their prospective clients end up choosing from the options that the salesperson has laid out.
I’ve read this strategy from Zig Ziglar’s book, “Secrets of Closing the Sale”. If you’d like to learn how to sell your services to your prospective client’s, then I suggest that you give that book a read.
At this point, I hope you already realized why I’m talking about how pro salespeople position themselves when selling their products — “YOU” are a salesperson yourself.
If you integrate the way they’re positioning themselves when selling to their customers to how you craft your cover letter, you’ll surely be able to improve your cover letters.
So here’s the strategy, instead of ending your cover letter with something generic like, “I hope to hear from you soon”, you can end with something like this for an effective cover letter, “you can connect with me via Skype (add your skype name here), or you can reply to this email”.
Notice how on both options, you’ve already expected your prospective client to get back to you. You’re just giving them an option on how they can connect with you. While writing the cover letter you may face some writer’s blocks. Here are some tips to avoid the writer’s block.
3. Add a scarcity element in your cover letters.
If you’ve had your fair share of reading sales books, then you’d have probably read by now that the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.
It’s because of this that adding an element of scarcity in your cover letters can boost its effectiveness. Simply because it helps compel your clients to hire you immediately, instead of taking the time to review the profiles of the other applicants.
Here’s the game plan…
In the first few lines of your cover letter, you’ll have to talk about the benefits that they can experience from hiring you. Give this your best shot. Make it very clear to them why you are the best person for the job.
For an effective cover letter, on the last paragraph you’ll then give them an option on how to best contact you. You’ll then add something that says, “I have ample of time available right now since I’ve just finished a huge project. I may have a new project coming along next week, however, so please get back to me if we have an opportunity to collaborate. I’ll be more than happy to save you a slot so I can prioritize your work.”’
Note – You can also add that message as a “P.S.” to your cover letter.
As you can probably imagine, adding a sentence like that will somewhat compel your prospective clients to act immediately on your application. You can also get more jobs without sending another application.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that you add the scarcity element to your cover letters. The thing is, even though your clients feel that you’re a perfect fit for the job, a good bit of them would understandably still want to check out what other applicants have to offer. Of course, if they find someone who they think might be better, there’s a good chance that they’ll end up awarding the job to the other prospect.
Are there ideas, or tips that you’d like to share that would help our readers close more jobs using their cover letters? If you answered with a “yes”, then please share them in the comments section below.
The Forbes has published an article based on the importance of an effective cover letter.
* Note – I’ll be publishing the third, and the last installment of our “How to Write an Effective Cover Letter…“ series this Monday, May 16. Stay tuned!