A cover letter is a bridge – what the heck are you babbling about, Hyo?
I’ll get to that, but first, you gotta bear with me…
Back in 83, I saw the movie, “Kentucky Fried Movie,” and I nearly died of laughter. It was the original spoof movie. Among the hilarous segments was a spoof of “Enter the Dragon.” Had not seen it before (have seen it many times since). But without the framwork of the original, that skit was just a riotous spoof of all martial movies.
At the beginning of the movie, the actor spoofing Bruce Lee is training young disciples. One does a lackluster kick and the master whacks him on the head and says, “do it with feering…now again!”
So, later as he is infiltrating an enemy hideaway, he runs into a guard dog which barks at him.
So the spoof actor playing whacks the guard dog the head and says, “again…but this time…with feering.”
You just have to see it, I don’t do it justice it’s so funny.
But, again…but with “feering!”
Get the cover letter right!
I am confident that 2011 will be a great year for job seekers because businesses will hire for expansion and to replace baby boomers calling it a day. For all the arguments that companies have adjusted to working with less employees and have become more efficient – let’s be clear – they will need to rehire as their businesses grow again.
And after a couple of tough years, 2011 will be the start of a good recovery. It will be!
But to take part in this recovery, you must be prepared and have all your tools ready.
By tools, most job hunters tend to think resume and the need to start “networking.” But the one tool that could be most helpful tend not to get thought of.
They always seem to relegate a cover letter to an afterthought, as though a written cover letter is the snail mail version of a fax cover sheet.
Nothing could be further from the truth. So, let me state “again…but this time…with feering;” a well written, compelling cover letter is what can separate you from the pack.
A cover letter is not a piece of paper you throw on top of a resume because every guru says you need one. A cover letter is you in ways a resume cannot be.
A resume is your written history of past accomplishments from which recruiters and hiring managers can either infer or visualize future success. But there’s the rub – hiring managers has to take time to digest and visualize you in the position in question. And she has 100’s of resume in front of her. That’s a lot of digesting.
In sales, your past would be akin to a list of features of you. The future that the recruiter must visualize would be the benefits of you. Successful sales professionals learn early on that you do not leave this visualization of benefits to the buyer. They learn to create bridges that make it easy for buyers to walk over from the features to the benefits.
The cover letter is the bridge.
More than the resume, you can use the cover letter to help the hiring manager visualize the potential of hiring you, or at very least, make your resume a more intriguing read.
And at best, a compelling cover letter can transform your resume from a collection of past accomplishments into a list of potential benefits to the hiring company.
There are a lot of “how-to’s” available on writing a good cover letter. Your local library is always a good source. Of course, you have all your online resources – to include this blog – available to you.Â You have software like Phil Baker’s OneClick Cover letter Creator and Jimmy Sweeney’s very popular Amazing Cover Letter program (this link will take you where I recap the options out there for you).
In fact, there must be over 50 articles on this blog itself (by real guru – that would be not me) that talk about and give great instructions on how to write a cover letter. Go through this site and work one together.
But in general, you should keep these points in mind:
- Identify why you are writing.
- A brief summary of why you are relevant to the hiring manager or recruiter
- A brief comment on how the hiring manager benefits by meeting you.
- A specific call to action for the hiring manager.
Also, keep in mind that a cover letter is a not a resume – fight the temptation to put “too much” into it.
With “feering,” your cover letter is the bridge that takes the hiring manager from your past to the potential future.