The other day, I gave you guys a little roundup of the top 10 toughest questions you could face in a job interview.
However, as we all know, you need a kickass cover letter before you can even be subjected to those impossible questions.
Apparently, though, most of us have been totally missing the mark when we've been writing our cover letters, and Jake Bradley is here to set job seekers straight.
Bradley, Associate Director of Michael Page Human Resources, told Daily Mail:
Cover letters that are well-written demonstrate to employers that you are a unique, literate and enthusiastic candidate. They give you a chance to put forward your most relevant experience and achievements, and this really goes a long way in terms of grabbing the employers' attention.
But seriously, it's so hard to adequately and interestingly describe yourself on one sheet of paper, and it's even harder to do that in a way that doesn't sound exactly like all the other cover letters sent in by the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of other applicants in the pool.
To help us out, Bradley has shared what he believes to be the perfect cover letter:
Bradley's general strategy is to lay out your skills in a concise, yet detailed way, making sure that all the information is relevant to the job for which you're applying.
However, I have a few issues with his approach.
Perhaps it's just because I work in a more creative industry, but I feel like this type of cover letter would make an HR rep pass out on the keyboard, particularly if he or she is reading dozens of letters in that format.
I once wrote a cover letter for an internship that was literally all about me describing why I am a fun person, complete with awkward quotes from my friends and family on the subject.
To be fair, the job posting actually instructed applicants not to apply unless they were "fun," and even encouraged people to ask someone if they are fun. As you can see, I took those directions pretty literally.
But it landed me the job!
My point is, Bradley definitely nailed it in a general sense. It's important to craft cover letters in a way that highlights your relevant, transferable skills and shows you've done your research on the company to which you're applying.
This (unfortunately) means you shouldn't be submitting the exact same cover letter in every job application. Tailoring it to the specific role and its requirements shows you're paying attention, and in the process of writing it, you'll learn how suited you really are for the position.
Or, you can be a crazy person like me and talk about what makes you fun to be around. Either way.