I recently covered ways to format your cover letter and what to include, but I want to dig a little deeper and discuss how to make your cover letter a true marketing document.
Just as we did with writing a resume in part one of this blog post, we want to keep in mind the questions that marketers ask about their products:
- What problem does this product solve for people?
- What sets it apart? How is it unique?
- What are the benefits or features of the product?
- What proof can we offer that the product works?
You can customize your cover letter to answer these same questions about yourself. Let’s go back to our example of Sally the public school teacher. One way she could set herself apart from other candidates is to write about her “why” in the beginning of her cover letter.
Nothing brings people together like a good meal. My best memories as a child are of watching my grandmother spend hours in the kitchen making everything from scratch before sitting down as a family to a delicious meal. It is what started my passion for cooking and it is a skill that I’ve tried to pass down to my own children. It led me to start my growing YouTube channel all about preparing tasty, healthy meals, and it is the reason I’m interested in the role of Community Educator for the Community Food Education (CFE) program of ABC Organization.
Next, she can demonstrate how she is unique – what sets her apart from other candidates. In her case, this is her extensive background in education.
For the last 20 years, I’ve worked as a public school teacher helping young students learn math and science. This has given me a deep understanding of how people learn and absorb information. I have honed my communication skills to effectively convey complex ideas in a clear and relatable manner. Teaching has allowed me to create engaging and inclusive learning environments that foster knowledge retention and inspire individuals to embrace new concepts. But it has also given me a window into how a lack of proper nutrition at home greatly hinders a child’s ability to learn in the classroom. That’s why this role really resonates with me. I believe that access to nutritious food is a fundamental right, and I am committed to empowering individuals to make informed choices about their health and well-being. Teaching healthy cooking, nutrition, and food budgeting to adults and families aligns perfectly with my dedication to making a difference in people’s lives.
Lastly, we tackle the “proof” that she can do the job by citing how many aspects of the role involve tasks she has been doing for years, and we highlight her accomplishments.
I’m excited to apply my knowledge of teaching concepts to a role that will help families plan budget-friendly, nutritious meals. I will utilize my expertise in lesson planning and curriculum development to ensure that each session is informative, interactive, and enjoyable for participants of all ages. I also have a great deal of experience founding and leading clubs, several of which have grown extensively through the years. I’ve found when learning is fun and inspirational, people are drawn to be a part of it. My approach to making learning enjoyable and engaging led to me being named as “Teach of the Year” in my school district in 2018, and I believe it is what has been drawing increasing numbers of viewers to my YouTube channel.
I am excited to use these teaching methods, along with my administrative skills, to contribute to the efforts of this national anti-hunger organization by strengthening families’ ability to navigate their food environments. My love for both cooking and teaching, combined with my experience and dedication, make me a strong fit for this role.To view my cooking skills and presentation style, visit my channel at YouTube.com/xyz.
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further and how I can contribute to the success of the Community Food Education program. Please find attached my resume for your review. I am available at your convenience for an interview.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Notice that we don’t list EVERY way that she is a fit for the role in her cover letter, we just highlight the most important ways. And we try to provide a glimpse of her life’s mission and values because they align so well with the role. We also don’t just repeat all of the information that is in her resume.
The Bottom Line:
You want your cover letter to leave the employer wanting to meet you. You need to entice them to learn more. You also want your cover letter to have some heart. It doesn’t have to be just another form letter that lets an employer know you meet their requirements. It is okay to infuse a little of your personality.
What other questions do you have about cover letters? Leave me a comment and let me know.