Getting into the Employer’s Frame of Mind with Your Cover Letter

Getting into the Employer’s Frame of Mind with Your Cover Letter

You don’t need an Ouija board, a crystal ball, or an alignment of the stars to tell your fate for your next job interview. Instead, rely on this one thing: knowledge. Before going into the interview, educate yourself on what goes on in employers’ heads and think of ways of making things easier for them—and yourself. Identify your audience and communicate your value succinctly. In other words, don’t just be you; be the person they are looking for! Picking your battles strategically will help you win the war for more new professional opportunities

How can you do this? How can anyone do it? Well, I’m here to show you some cover letter writing strategies that can work for you.

Our news media has always entertained its readership by answering these five basic questions in each news story: Who? What? Where? When? Why? These are simple questions that each reader wants answered, questions designed to provoke interest and curiosity. Let’s quickly go through each one so you get an idea of how to apply them to your cover letter.

Who: Who are you as a person? What are your defining personal qualities and characteristics? What makes you a rare and special human being?

What: What separates you from the rest? What is it about you, your skill set, history and experience that make you the ideal candidate for this position?

Where: Where are you in your present business cycle or mindset? Where are you located, and are you willing to relocate?

When: When are you prepared to start? Find out when the potential employer will be making a decision before you send that cover letter. Offer to ease the transition into the job, by whatever creative means.

Why: Why you? Why should they hire you? Why should they invest in you, train you, and help take your career to the next level? I recommend starting your cover letter with the “why” value proposition

You need to provide a convincing answer to each of these questions in your cover letter. And you need to provide them in a few paragraphs or less. Sound convincing, honest and personable. Give employers a reason to want you above anyone else. Stand out, be different and unique

Only in this way can you get into their heads with the answers they are looking for. And only in this way will you get more interview opportunities.

Remember to always gear your cover letter to each unique job posting, position, and company you apply to. Make it a summary of who you are and how you would benefit the potential employer.

Employers cant resist calling candidates that are unique in their presentation and can articulate their core value in 1-2 paragraphs.

Key note: Only send your cover letter to job descriptions that request your cover letter or an “about me” summary. If they don’t ask, don’t send.


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Comments (9)

  • Queenie TC Reply

    I like! thanks for the tips! very useful!

    July 30, 2010 at 5:27 am
  • Stuart Rosenberg Reply

    I appreciate you taking the time to write about cover letters but until the last piece of the article nothing new was set forth. In this day and age with job applicants outnumbering positions by 5 to 1 and hiring managers not having the time or the inclination to read a cover letter you’re note about only sending cover letters when actually requested is correct as that will be the only time HR and or hiring managers will read the letter.

    August 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm
  • Steve Morling Reply

    I agree; the cover letter should answer a variation of the standard management question: what have you done for me lately? Except in this context it’s what can you do for me? The cover letter is the bridge from the resume’s capabilities and accomplishments to the employer’s needs.

    August 13, 2010 at 9:35 am
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