Today, landing a job isn’t usually as simple as walking into a store and asking for work. Modern technology has made applying for a new position much easier, but it has also expanded competition by an enormous degree. How can we make our applications stand out from droves of other applicants?
One effective way is to make an emotional connection in your cover letter. Hiring managers sift through many applications, and it’s important to make yours stick out in their mind (for the right reasons, of course).
I’m here to tell you now–regardless of your work experience, if you can write a great cover letter and make that emotional connection, you will eventually land a job. If you’re unsure what this looks like, checking out some examples of great cover letters would be beneficial before beginning your own. Check out the three following ways to make an emotional tie with the hiring manager.
1. Learn about the company, and use this knowledge to your advantage
Jump online and start digging up any useful information you can find about your target company. Find out the size (number of employees, annual profit, etc.), their national/international reach, their employee needs and any future goals they may have.
Write down anything that might be useful to know as an applicant—some of it will be good to know during an interview, and other parts can be applied to your cover letter. This knowledge will also help you understand where you fit as a potential employee, which should be leveraged in your writing.
After you’ve compiled the data, it’s time to think about your past work experiences. Is there any relevant connection between your accomplishments and what your target company seeks to achieve in the future? If not, you can also consider your past volunteer/academic experiences (this is particularly useful if you haven’t worked before).
Do any of these experiences help prove that you’re a great candidate for this company? If they are looking for a hard working, creative person to join the team, do you have an example of when you used creativity and drive to get something done? These examples are your ally, pick one or two relevant ones and incorporate them into your cover letter.
Tip: Don’t forget that a great cover letter should make your resume stand out as well. Both documents play a critical role in making your application shine.
2. Find out what charity the company supports, and make a connection
If you’re involved with or just love being part of charitable organizations, an effective way to make a personal connection is to find out which charities your target company is affiliated with and explain why you love one (or all) of them! If possible, take it a step further and relate to them with your own volunteering/charitable work history. Such examples reveal a candidate with a strong work ethic and a willingness to help others—great traits for a new hire.
Here, a candidate uses an example from her experience as a leader in high school, quantifies it and even links it to her target company’s charity involvement! If you can manage to fit in something like this, you’ll definitely pique the interest of a hiring manager.
3. Leverage your passion
One of the biggest frustrations for hiring managers is the high turnover rate in recent years, especially amongst young people. If you’re a young person or a bit of a job hopper, you will be viewed with skepticism and as someone with one foot out the door. Writing “I promise I won’t change jobs at the first opportunity” in a cover letter is a little too blunt, however there are ways to let this vibe resonate throughout your writing.
One way to do this is to be passionate. Mention how excited you are to work for the company and explain why. Maybe you dig what they’re doing in the tech industry, you love their products, or you heard the office environment is groovy. If you are passionate about work responsibilities listed in the job posting, even better—let them know!
In her cover letter introduction, this candidate quickly illustrates both her interest in and knowledge of the place to which she’s applying. You don’t need to lie, but if you are genuinely impressed with how the company conducts business you should bring it up.
If you can make an emotional connection to a hiring manager with your cover letter, you’ve already taken a huge step toward landing an interview and getting the job. I gave you some strategies for making this happen, but if you’re struggling to get your writing started it could help to check out a cover letter writing guide that walks you through the process. You’ve already taken the initiative by reading this post, it’s time to start writing!