Cover Letter or Confidence Letter… Express Yourself!
by Michael Feeley
COVER LETTERS HAVE VALUE. Some people want them, others could care less. But be ready to write one.
A cover letter covers why you’re right for a job and covers your qualifications and then it covers your resume.
So — we’ve now covered nearly everything you need to know about a cover letter except…how to change the way YOU see it.
Let’s open this wide and power it up.
Then don’t apply
This is your time to shine – attract your readers attention – step out — show your full confidence and care for a job you want and a company you hunger to work for as you write your letter and send your resume.
If you don’t feel that burn then don’t apply. Move on. Without the sincere desire it’s a waste of time for all.
It’s a full time job looking for work. It takes drive, endurance and commitment – you want lots of positive thoughts and positive actions daily because it can be tough and often discouraging.
You want to be strong inside as you work on your Confidence Letter. Be clear about your purpose in writing and applying for the position as you express the mighty facts about yourself and what you have to offer.
A Confidence Letter is a… Motivational Letter
Feel that burn; energy, optimism and imagination is what you’re after. Get yourself motivated because that’s what a Confidence Letter is — a motivational letter for you and your future boss – to motivate him into hiring you because you have the goods.
Two songs and specific lyrics by Madonna come to mind. Her confidence and talent is right out there. She has commitment, energy and Boldness. She’s solid and precise in every action and word. She gets right to the point. Just how a Confidence Letter should be.
‘Express Yourself’– remember these words?
“…Don’t go for second best Baby! Second best is never enough.”
And then – ‘Vogue’ –
“All you need is your imagination… so use it that’s what it’s for…
Go inside, for your finest inspiration… Your dreams will open the door…
You’re a Superstar, YES, that’s what you are, you know it!”
When you apply for a job and express yourself…strike a sincere pose with your words and qualifications because that will get attention. Use your imagination. Don’t be halfhearted or
‘…second best… go inside, for your finest inspiration… your dreams will open the door’.
Being part of the herd is so much fun
Hopefully you have been building relationships with the people you have in your social media data bases and not just connecting for the numbers but growing, assisting others because when looking for a job it is essential to network.
Find a real person to contact. Get the name of the person hiring — first and last and spell both right and start to build a relationship. Sometimes you can’t get the name, I know, but do your best. Great letters can be written — “To Whom It May Concern…”
Begin researching. Go to LinkedIn, visit company ‘about’ pages, google…find the person and see how you’re related.
Who do you both know? What do you have in common…same school, same interests, same goals?
Target a group of companies and people you want to work with.
You’re setting yourself up so that when a job does open up — you’re thought of right away.
Don’t follow the ‘formula herd’…sending out the same letters and going through the motions.
You’re creating interest in yourself and preparing for interviews by learning about the company.
There are 3 reasons you use a cover letter:
1. To apply to a specific job opening
2. To apply to a company you YEARN to work for, even if they don’t have an opening. Request a general interview for future openings; an exploratory meeting to learn about the firm and have them know you.
3. To network and build contacts over time with the company, the department and the person you most want to work with.
Confidence Letters are also… Uncover Letters
They uncover you from the many other people applying for the same position — presenting your abilities, and accomplishments — connecting immediately with the person filling the job you want. Have people see your value and uniqueness. What you’ll contribute when hired. Uncover your worth.
Here’s a great example showing all of this from Editorial Director, Jessica Bennett’s own life when she was laid off from Tumblr and how she got her new job at Sheryl Sandberg’s company Lean In. (Content Strategist – 8/29/13 Interview by Dani Fankhauser)
” …I knew Sheryl a bit from writing about women’s issues over the years, and had interviewed her a few times. I was seated next to her publicist once at a dinner in New York. So when I was suddenly jobless I emailed them both. I don’t think Lean In was looking for a journalist to join them – that wasn’t really part of the plan – but the reality was that they had this incredibly engaged community, and there was a huge space for them to start providing content to them. So, I pitched the idea and I guess they liked it!”
This is exactly what I’m describing…
- Relationships matter. Reach out to your connections, no matter how well you know them.
- Network and be innovative even if you think companies and people don’t have a job opening. You never know.
- Have a plan just like Jessica did.
- Pitch yourself.
- Uncover your abilities.
- Show your confidence.
- Plant a seed to create a solution to increase the value of their company or to fill a need…Solve Their Problem.
Why Are YOU the ONE
Get to the point — Why are you so special?
You’ll be writing 1 or 2 sentences about yourself. Be natural. Write like you talk and write what you think and feel — why you like their firm and want to be there. This is NOT the time to tell them the advantages for you.
Think about this:
What makes you different from every other person applying with the same expertise and qualifications that you have?
Or put it my way…What do you do better than any other person on the face of the earth!?!?
Now – to get the answer do this:
- Write 300 words describing what makes you different.
- Then – put it into one paragraph.
- Then spin it into one sentence.
- Then one word.
There’s your answer. You have your Confidence Letter and also the answer to one of the important questions you’ll be asked in nearly every interview.
Confidence Letters are powerful things,
you get to say what’s on your mind and in your heart.
Also…remember your very first reaction, thoughts and feelings you had, when you heard or read about the job. What were your exact thoughts? What did you say to yourself and tell others? What words did you use? What was your gut response? That’s your lead. Your focus. Your reason for applying. Don’t go away from them because they’re true and honest.
Make a choice
‘Dear Ms. Future,
Re: Customer Service Expert
I’m applying for the position of Customer Service Expert at ‘Thoroughbred Models’, posted on Indeed.com. I’m confident that I can do the job and you’ll see from my attached resume that I’m highly qualified for the position with my 6 year tenure as Concierge with the ‘Hotel Prestige’. My references are sterling.
My abilities to be consistently courteous and helpful, to meet and greet clients in person as well as to handle high volumes of telephone inquiries is a deep part of my experience and personal nature. I’m adept at working busy phone systems and efficiently connecting people to the right person or department. I solve problems quickly and professionally with a level head even under pressure. I’m fully comfortable with all of the skills you are searching for. I’m what you’re looking for and it would be a honor to work for your organization because of your professionalism and quality of work you produce.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to meeting with you at your earliest convenience. My contact information is listed below…’
This meets all the criteria of a cover letter…what job you’re applying for, where you saw it, why you’re right and what you can offer, connecting your skills to the specific job details the employer asks for and a closing with your contact information.
What if we move this up a notch or 5. Something like this?
‘OK! After hundreds of generic letters saying, ‘Please hold. Your call is important to us…’ — YOU have found your hire!
Excellent skills — ready to step into the job — and be fully successful.
I’ve had one job for 6 years running the concierge desk for ‘Hotel Prestige’. I am confident that my experience will only be an asset to Thoroughbred Models. Your reputation for excellence and professionalism is what attracts me most to your company as well as the mentoring work you offer to young models, photographers and creative artists.
It would be an honor to work with you.
Please take a look at my resume for specific details of my tasks and skills…and let’s arrange an interview ASAP.
You won’t regret it…and our meeting will not be a waste of your time because…
I’m honest. I work hard. And…I’ll come through for you every day.
Thank you. I eagerly look forward to our meeting…’
It’s another possibility. Another choice to think about.
As you write your Confidence Letter catch the attention of your reader, be grounded and authentic with your enthusiasm.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
– Be fearless.
– Pitch yourself.
– Solve their problem. (That’s often missed).
– Be creative.
– Show your passion and reasons for being perfect for the job.
Express Your SELF !
Thanks – Michael
For more career growth read this – How To Get a New Job – Try ‘Good Will Brainstorming’
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