The very best cover letters employ a mixture of wisdom, insider knowledge and sometimes wit to ensure applicants get the interviews they want. Thankfully, you can learn how to write an excellent cover letter without resorting to magic or obtaining a degree in English. Experts now recommend turning to psychology to increase your chances of getting hired. With that in mind, the next time you write a cover letter, consider employing a few psychological tips.
The very first hurdle many applicants face when writing cover letters is self-doubt. Job seekers worry about how best to represent themselves and their skill sets without sounding narcissistic. If they brag, they may put a potential employer off. If they undersell themselves, their letters may disappear into the void entirely. It's hard to construct an effective first sentence if you aren't sure of yourself.
One of the best psychological tips when writing a cover letter is to place yourself in the position of the reader and craft the letter to impress. Resist the temptation to apologize; instead, as you write, believe in yourself. An employer is less likely to hire an applicant who grovels and much more likely to hire an applicant who professes confidence without exuding arrogance.
The most effective cover letters contain specific references to the potential employer's company and, more specifically, what the applicant can do to help that employer become more successful. As you craft your cover letter, focus on what you can do for your prospective employer and link your previous accomplishments to projects you feel might benefit that employer in the future. Perhaps you completed an in-depth analysis of company expenditure in a prior job, and that analysis helped your previous employer streamline expenses and increase profits. Use that experience to sell yourself as a money-saving guru.
Finally, learn as much as you can about the company you're applying to, and use that information to craft a personalized cover letter. Weave your own career experience into your potential employer's company story to incorporate your presence into that business' future. If your prospective employer is a retailer, learn about its customer base and convey that understanding in your cover letter. Many online resources, including the company's website, news stories written about the business and company profile databases, can help you glean valuable information.
As you write your cover letter, try to remain confident in yourself and in your abilities. Use a positive tone and leverage your previous experience to gain ground before the interview. Write a well-constructed and company-focused cover letter to ensure your prospective employer regards you as a catch. If you convey your great potential, you are more likely to find yourself on the receiving end of an interview invitation.
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