How To Write The Perfect Cover Letter, Step-by-Step
Written by Connel Valentine on 6th Jan 2022
Looking for the perfect template to writer every cover letter?
Got you covered.
Disclaimer: I modelled this process after marketing experts. The more I learned about marketing my business, the more I discovered a job search is just like a marketing campaign.
Many experts popularized the concept called “Hook-Story-Offer” when writing content to convince people to take action.
A cover letter is like a sales letter. It should be designed to convince the reader to take one or more of the following actions: 1. Read your resume 2. Read your LinkedIn profile 3. Call you for the job interview.
Here is how the hook-story-offer works on a sales - I mean - cover letter.
This first paragraph is supposed to pull the reader in and grab attention.
Most people make the fatal mistake of playing it safe with an introduction like this - “I’m interested in applying for this role. I believe I’m a good fit. I’m results-oriented.”
You need to “hook” the reader from the start. A couple of ways of doing this:
Explain why you’re interested in this field and what got you started.
Mention an interesting news article you read about the company.
If you were referred to the job, name drop the person the reader knows.
If you use the company’s product, mention why. I switched to my current bank because of how innovative their mobile app was. If I ever apply for a job there, that’s what I’ll be opening with.
There’s no end to what you can open with. If you want more ideas, Google for “Cover Letter Hooks”. Lots of other career pros blog about this concept of “Hooks”.
Every story has three elements - a hero, a conflict, a resolution.
Obviously, you are the hero :)
Every job exists to solve problems (conflict) and this position you are applying for is no different.
I coach my clients through explaining the biggest problem that exists in their target job. It’s most likely the same problem their future hiring manager is facing.
Then go on to explain how you (the hero) have solved that problem (resolution).
All great content ends with a call to action.
In this case, you want the reader to call for an interview.
When I finish my client’s cover letter with a call to action, I inject another element of marketing into the offer - curiosity.
Here is an example:
“I’m really excited about the role you have for a business development manager. If I’m fortunate to get an interview, I’ll be happy to explain how I successfully moved our retail business to an innovative online platform that resulted in doubling our revenue while increasing our margins by 15%”.
You don’t have to be in sales to raise curiosity. Think about the one biggest accomplishment in your career. Ideally quantifiable, or award-winning, or at the very least, an outstanding compliment from a senior executive.
There you have it. Hook-Story-Offer. A step-by-step format you can use in your cover letter, LinkedIn profile about section and even to structure answers at your job interview.
Good luck with your letter!
About Coach My Resume
We help you get your dream job in Canada that fits your experience and skills, by creating a resume that gets you responses for every online job application with job interview coaching to covert job interviews to multiple job offers, so that you can confidently negotiate the salary you want.
Connel helps newcomers and residents of Canada that have 3+ years of professional experience, find jobs that fit their experience and skills, that pays $80K-$140K per year. He blends modern job search strategies with old-fashioned marketing that gets a response from every job application.