Cover Letter is your chance to talk directly to the person responsible for your future, create a special connection with him and show yourself from the best side to ensure the desirable outcome.
Show your integrity & think big
Integrity is one of the most respected and admired qualities of people. Ideally, you need to demonstrate it in your cover letter. Try to prove that you are a grown-up personality with a clear understanding of his life objectives and ways to achieve it. If you do not know what you want in your life, how can someone else help you achieve it?
Your integrated vision can be easily demonstrated in your essay with the simplest logical chain: “to realize X first I need to do Y that can be achieved through Z” or “Z will help me to do Y, so I can realize X”
And don’t be afraid to think big. No one has ever been punished for big ambitions or having a dream. The desire to make a big impact is already the first step to making it.
Show that you care – do not talk to a wall
It is not enough just to be good and satisfy all the requirements. Nowadays organizations are also looking for a cultural fit because without it a candidate will not be able to realize his potential. Being personal in your motivation letter is the way to demonstrate this fit.
To begin with, it is crucial to understand who is a decision maker at the current stage of the selection process and at least to know his/her name.
If you want to personalize more, a proper research on the background and interests of this person might be helpful. Do not forget the simple scientifically proven concept – unconsciously we are attracted to people who are similar to us and even if we have a little piece of information about someone being similar to us, we seem to make more positive conclusions about him. Therefore, an indirect mentioning of features in common with a recruiter can help you create a special bond with him.
Show that you care – do your homework and do it well
A further step is to show that we know exactly what we are applying for and where it will lead us. The only way to do it is again a good research.
Start your research with studying company/university/scholarship website, but never stop there. Take advantage of all the available information sources – the limit is just your imagination: websites, articles, specialized company/university rankings, reviews, linked in, interviews, blogs and other. The sections of our biggest interest are the organization overview, vision, mission, values, strategy, people, and news.
Motivate them – show the synergies
After you have demonstrated your motivation to be right there where you want to be, it is time to motivate another party to let you be there.
It is very important to structure everything to help recruiter/evaluator easily ”tick all the requirement boxes”. Be very specific: one good real-life example is much more valuable than a paragraph of experience discussion. Always use the STAR (situation – task – action – result) framework to introduce real-life examples, never underestimate your personal impact, quantify achieved results and try to connect it with the potential future value increase for an employer.
Do not be afraid to be different
Who said that a motivation letter should always be a boring, black and white, one-page word file? If you really want it to stand out, you should think out of the box.
Spend more time on your beginning and conclusion. Try to make it less standard, brighter and easy to remember.
Experiment with the overall design of the essay. Do not treat the essay as a simple document, treat it as a chance to demonstrate your commitment to the company/university/program and show who you are and how much you can do to achieve your goal.
Strive for excellence
And the last advice – take your time. If you really care about something, do not leave writing a motivation letter until the last moment. Reaching excellence is a process of ongoing improvement. Write it, read it, correct it, reread again, work on your vocabulary and phrasing, ask people to read it and provide their feedback, listen to it and take into account. Every small detail matters and you can achieve true excellence only through committing enough time and effort.
Kristina Rylova is a Junior Business Analyst in the Strategy department of Agfa Healthcare – a leading global provider of diagnostic imaging and healthcare IT solutions with nearly a century of healthcare experience. Kristina has a background in Economics and Strategy and she is truly passionate about business analysis, strategy and corporate finance. In early 2016, Kristina started a side project – RESULTize – her personal blog that serves as a knowledge sharing platform focused on young ambitious people who want to know more about career, productivity, and learning.