The art of writing a cover/motivation letter

What do you want to achieve when sending your CV to a headhunter? Or directly to a company? You want to get hired, right? Wrong!

It’s as if you walked into a bar and asked the first man or woman that you like to marry you. What about dating? Having a coffee first? Getting to know each other? Every step might get you closer to a wedding. Same when looking for a job.

While sending your CV to a decision maker (or to a headhunter), you should expect to overcome the following obstacles one by one. (It’s like making it to first base, second base, etc.)
#1: you want them to open your email.
#2: once they have read it, you want them to open your CV instead of hitting the “delete” button.
#3: you want them to read the whole document after they have read your profile summary.
#4: you want to be invited to an interview.

The third and the fourth obstacle can be overcome by an exceptionally good CV. The first and the second one by a well-written motivation letter, which nowadays, in the age of digital communication, is called cover email.

What is the main difference between a cover (motivation) letter and a cover email?
A cover (or motivation) letter is usually a separate document, required when applying for job ads, while a cover email is used in direct application, when you email decision makers at your dream companies directly (read more about this method here).

A cover letter is, to put it simple, “an opportunity to distinguish yourself” from other candidates who also apply to the same job ad. Here we’d like to share one of the best articles that we have come across on how to write one: How to write a cover letter.

Some highlights from the article:
– Cover letter needs to be written for the eyes of the reader. Do your research and make it relevant to your target group.
– It must be specific and interesting enough for the receiver to open the attachment including your CV and Project Portfolio. The standard “I am applying for X in reference to the job ad Y” is boring and too conventional.
– It should emphasize your personal value & convey your enthusiasm.
– You should keep it short & to the point.

However, keep in mind that no one gets hired right away by sending one email that includes a generic motivation letter and an average CV. As we wrote in one of our previous articles, in the job hunting process one element is responsible for unlocking one door only.

If you would like to discuss the topic of cover emails in depth, or you are simply not sure if yours is good enough, feel free to contact us and schedule a complimentary career consultation with one of our Career Angels.