Jan 20, 2015
Two-thirds of hiring managers reject applicants based on what’s written in their cover letter, according to a study by Zip Recruiter.You see, first impressions certainly count.
Imagine you’re a digital recruiter. It’s been a hell of a day – deadlines are looming ever closer, meetings have over-run and your inbox is flooding. Boom – another impersonal cover letter arrives – unresearched, uninspired and all round annoying. It’s a giant no. And so is the candidate.
Want to avoid being that person that makes your potential employer reach for a Panadol? We provide 6 tips on how to create a digital marketing cover letter that begs to be read, remembered and recommended.
You’ve Got One Page to Achieve the Following:
We’ll show you how to achieve all four objectives below…
If your potential employer is looking for energy and inspiration make sure you give it to them in heaps in your cover letter. Yes, that’s right – you need to match the tone, learn the lingo, get down with the company speak. Modern cover letters need not be boring, stilted and corporate, especially if you’re looking to work in a fun and creative environment.
If you look closely enough you’ll find hints of your potential employer’s culture. Highlight the words used in the role description and don’t be scared to steal a few – if they say ‘awesome’ so do you. However, it’s important not to go overkill on this and risk sounding fake – make sure your natural voice shines through too (if you’re a good fit, your language should merge with theirs nicely).
Each cover letter you write should showcase how you simply “fit” this role and organisation. Tailoring your cover letter doesn’t just mean addressing your letter to the relevant person in the organisation (although you should absolutely do this). It’s about crafting your entire body to address the needs and desires of your potential employer. Get to the heart of the matter by – 1. telling them why you want to work for them and 2. telling them why they should pick you.
You should also demonstrate your value proposition – this means addressing the role description, the company and the culture and showing how you uniquely “fit”. Create parallels between what you do, what the company does and what the role description requires. For example, if they’re looking for a creative and results-driven ‘Content Executive’, you can offer an example of the campaign concepts you’ve created that have generated leads and/or sales.
Get to the point already. The first line should introduce you and your intent (to get the job). The first paragraph? It needs to immediately address why you’re the perfect candidate to fit the role in question. Here’s a hot tip: before you begin writing, read through the job specification again and highlight the most important points.
How? Look for repeated phrases, synonyms and ‘Required Skills’ to find the core component your potential employer is searching for. If they’re looking for “an analytical mind”, for example, you should portray your passion for numbers and strategy within the first line or two. Your first paragraph is also a great place to convey the years of experience you have in your industry (especially if the number is rather impressive).
If you’ve created the digital marketing CV of every recruiters’ dreams your’s will be formatted beautifully and full of metrics, timelines and streamlined achievements. Well, your cover letter is your one and only chance to flesh out these perfectly formed bullet points and add more depth to your personal story.
Say, for example, your CV says you increased your company’s leads by 30% in a single quarter. You can explain how you managed a team to achieve this metric, the tactics you employed and the obstacles you overcame. This will give your potential employer insight into your “softer skills” like motivation, tenacity and team playing. It’s often these so called “soft skills” that can make the difference between you landing the job and getting overlooked by a more adaptable candidate.
How you close your cover letter is every bit as important as how you open it. Your closing paragraph has three purposes: 1. to restate your enthusiasm for the role and how you believe you’re a good fit. 2. To re-communicate the value you can bring to the role and the company. 3. To provide a clear and confident call to action about how your potential employer should get in touch.