You can go about your job hunting in a couple of ways. You can first, take the typical approach and respond to jobs that are advertised. The second approach is to cold call employers by just getting your CV out there.
Every CV you’re submitting, should have a cover letter attached to it. Most people do this, and don’t take the time to realise the full powerful extent that the cover letter has.
It’s more than a personal greeting to prospective employers. It’s your short advertorial, used to grab the attention of the reader, and get them to move onto reading your CV. The wrong approach to the cover letter could see your CV hit the waste bin, before an employer even scans it.
That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to get your cover letter right. Most businesses need staff who can write fairly well, and if you can construct a cover letter that WOWs your reader, you’re going to be in for a far higher success rate in being invited to interviews.
The reason why is because you’re pro-actively selling yourself. So don’t sell yourself short on the cover letter.
A major aspect you need to take advantage of is the very top line. This is your attention grabbing area that tells the reader to read on and see what you have to offer. This is the same for a job that’s advertised or if you’re doing a cold call approach to employment.
The headline should stick the recruiter to the page, and give them a reason to find out more about you. Yet at the same time, you’re not addressing the about you element.
That’s the most common mistake employers see on a covering letter.
That’s what your CV is for. The cover letter is to get eyeballs onto your CV, and it’s done by crafting the cover letter in a way that tells employers what benefits they have from hiring you.
Before you start, make sure you know where you can fit into a company. Especially if you’re on a cold trail. It’s easier if the job is advertised, as they will stipulate what role you’ll be applying for.
That role is placed in your headline. It’s how you capture the interest of recruiters. Most cover letters will be the same format, so if you can change things up, you’re going to get a higher response rate.
Take the position of a customer care representative. How would you get creative for this?
Instead of R.E – Customer Service Rep Application
Change things up with an attention grabbing advertorial cover letter…
Let me help you retain more clients, win back old clients, and offer your customers a first class experience – Every Time!
Do you think that would have the attention of a recruiter? You better believe it will. They aren’t used to it, because it’s out the box creative. So much so that it could even be passed from HR, direct to the hiring manager, putting you far above any other applicant.
Of course, that’s just the glue to capture the attention of HR. Now you need to keep their attention span.
That’s done with your formatting, and you don’t have to be a Microsoft Word wizard to make things come to life.
After you’re heading, you should have their attention. Then introduce yourself as briefly as possible.
Dear ____, or on the cold approach, “To whom it may concern”
Having x amount of experience in customer services, I’ve a proven record of accomplishment in helping businesses excel in customer services. (see attached CV for your perusal)
Integrating well into any team, you can benefit from my brushed up communication skills at all levels of business.
Front line reception, to follow up calls for customer retention. I can help your business perform better.
Do you see how different this may be to the cover letters you’ve been creating and sending out?
The purpose is to get the eyeballs onto your CV. The cover letter emphasises the benefit to a business from hiring you. The example above does that a few times, and it’s short and concise too.
There is a mistake there though, and that’s the use of “I.” The word you want to use the most is “you” or “your business” as that’s what employers are really thinking about when they’re looking at CVs. They want staff they can rely on, and not hire someone they’ll be carrying.
Firstly, you mention experience. Then you say you’ve a proven record of accomplishment, References help verify your abilities. You’re directing attention to your CV early, so you’re showing that you are confident.
Further benefits go onto say that you can integrate well into any team. You can perform at a reception dealing with customers for the first time, and you’re comfortable to speak with them on the telephone too.
The ultimate benefit is that you can help their business perform better.
That’s what employers want to know. What’s in it for them? Your CV is all about you. Your cover letter is about how you can benefit their company.
It’s your advertorial to sell your services.
If you craft this in response to a job advert, before you write it, match your skills to the job specifications, and then create a list of benefits for each one that you can match to the job specs.
That’s the main components to get onto your cover letter.
However, the formatting of it goes further than that. You need it to be short, and scannable. As a hard rule of thumb, consider the time of the person reading it. It takes a few seconds to scan the headline. For every few seconds you read it, there should be a component encouraging the person to continue reading.
Essentially, you’re snapping more of their precious few seconds, every few seconds.
This is done by focusing on benefits.
To make it easier, you can use bullet point lists. They’re easily scanned and not difficult to read.
· Keep your paragraphs short, concise, and benefit orientated
· Use bullet points to make your cover letter quickly scannable
To ensure that you’re sure how to make your cover letter the most powerful, and action orientated, have a look at the sample below.
The below is an example of a cover letter that highlights benefits to a recruiter.
It is sales orientated, but that’s what you need to be doing on the cover letter. Selling your services to prospective employers. It’s a business-to-business transaction. You sell your services to a company, and they pay you for your time, and expertise.
Make it as easy as possible for them to do that, by leading them to the conclusion that you have what they need.
If you’re going to be cold canvassing employers, the same sort of formatting could be applied to a flyer type ad, which could then be distributed to companies, encouraging them to contact you, or direct them to your website, or online CV.
The cover letter is your selling area. Your sales goal is to get your reader interested enough to scan your CV.
The combination of the two, are what will get you invited to more interviews.
In competitive economic times, customer retention is extremely important to cut the costs of advertising. It’s for this reason, you’ll want assurances that your customers are safe in the hands of an experienced expert.
• Someone comfortable leading your customer to a positive outcome
• Adapting to the needs of businesses and suggesting improvements where possible
• Someone who can represent your brand reputation with the utmost respect and professionalism
Can I suggest three things I can bring to your business?
1) A proven track record of excellence in customer services
2) An NVQ Level 4 Diploma in Customer Service – High level of training with knowledge of staff management, service improvement and quality assurance
3) All backed up with excellent communication skills, face-to-face, on the telephone, as well as in all written communication to customers and through managerial reports.
You can find out more through the attached CV.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to discussing your requirements further in the near future.