The Cover Letter for the inexperienced job seeker!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I have changed my job functions and industry many times in my career. Actually almost every time I changed job, my role and industry background changed as well. A few days ago, a confused friend asked me he couldn't think of what to write on his CV where he is applying for a job he has no experiences or relevant industry background. Here are my experiences in writing my "CV" when I applied for new job:

1) Your Proposal, NOT CV. Cover Letter is probably more important than CV. Why? Cover letter let you write with style, sincerely and, most importantly, focus on the few main points that can help you to stand out!

2) Your Deliverables, even if you are new. Make immediate promise of what you can achieve for the potential employers in your cover letter. It would be best if you can quote some kind of numbers such as "number 1 market share in 3 years" or "double digit growth for next 5 years" and so forth! This is a very huge challenge to yourselves' ability and guts to a no-escape alley. For a guy with no relevant industry experiences, this is a very very very bold statement.

3) 3 Points to support your capabilities to deliver the deliverables. Find your successful past experience or your strength and associate them with how you will achieve the achievement you promise on the cover letter. Such as, you will "Build a eCommerce site" or "Add a new telesales team to their existing major account team". It would be great if you can highlight 3 strategies or projects to support your achievements.

5) Do not emphasis that you can learn. Everybody knows! Instead, do emphasize that you have got other experience to make you successful for the new job. Learning is something an overhead or delay to the new employer unless you are worth the wait. So high light what have you got for him and implies that can you learn in the process of applying your advantage.

6) Keep it very short and punchy! No need to explain in details on your main points because your to-be employers probably know a lot more than you. All he needs to know is what "strength" you've got that can contribute something useful to him!

My friend responded to me that "That's not easy to do it in one page cover letter!" Well, who said it's easy. It was never easy. I recall that it took me couple of hours or even more to write one letter. What I have mentioned in this strategy really challenged myself deep to the bones. Thus reflecting the chance of a new comer to be hired and become successful as lower, which should really be the case. In the process of writing these points, if you are able to pull it off with a good cover letter, chances are that YOU ARE A GOOD POTENTIAL CANDIDATE after all!

We cannot create magic that turn a complete wrong match to successfully getting any job he or she likes. What I have laid down in here rest on the assumption that the candidate is a good fit to the job. It's just a strategy to help developer proper Cover Letter.

1 comment

kendi.d. kiambi said...

thank you so much for this post. It is life changing as well as education and fun to read... now let me scratch my head on how to start my letter. Bless you

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