6 Crazy-Simple Steps to an Action-Oriented Cover Letter

Got the InterviewGetting an internship or job is a simple 3 step process:

  1. Find the internship or job you want
  2. Apply with your cover letter and resume
  3. Crack the job interview

Yup, it’s that simple.

The problem is… that it is never simple. Alongside your application, there are often hundreds of others from your career competitors. So what do you do to get the inteview?

Starting with your cover letter and resume, you must communicate to the hiring manager that you are the candidate to hire. For many job seekers, though, the cover letter is often mistaken as secondary to the resume. Most job seekers spend more time crafting your resume than your cover letter.


The cover letter is your pitch to get a seat at the interview table!

The intent of a cover letter is to instigate action. Specifically, calling you for a face-to-face interview. The cover letters that do this best, the remarkable ones that get you on the right side of the door, are action-oriented.

Here are six crazy-simple tips to help you create a remarkable, action-oriented cover letter:

Say “No” to Cover Letter Templates

In order to be different, you have to sound different too. Achieving remark-ability can be done under the cover of humor or entertainment or passion or anything else that showcases your individuality. Whatever you do, ensure you sound genuine.

Say “No” to a Standard Subject Line

Can you come up with a creative subject line, which is clear and makes the reviewer open up your email? That is known as an “Action-Oriented” subject line. The goal of the subject line should be to make the reviewer open your mail and look inside. If you intrigue them, you have more of their attention while reviewing the rest of your application.

Say “No” to Long List of Skills

List of skills are boring. Instead talk about what you can do for them. Show them, how you could make them money or save them money. Tell them, how could you help branding them differently or take them to the next level. Intrigue them by stating what you can do for them, rather than stating what you got.

By doing that you are saving a step for the reviewer. They do not have to map your skills to the requirements. Instead they now know what’s in it for them.

Give Them a Trailer

A movie trailer is the best examples of instigating action to make you watch a movie. Share your trailer. Create your YouTube video and share it with them. Elevator pitch platforms like Mind Your Pitch, enable you to create your pitch and upload your video to do just that. It gives you a dedicated page for your pitch. Your page is Google friendly too and you never know who will find you here.

Be Singular

Apply for one position and one position only, through one cover letter. It is important you do not say you are a “jack of all trades”… that you’d be happy working in the back office as well as marketing. That will show lack of passion.

Write Different… Sound Different

Do not simply read the text in your cover letter when you pitch yourself in the video or during your face to face interview. Words have different impact “when written” than “when spoken”. You must use different sets of words and sentences when you engage in written communication as compared to engaging in verbal communication. Certainly maintain the same gist, but chose your words carefully.

The cover letter is a high-level overview of your abilities to get your foot in the door, not some sidekick for your resume. Be action-oriented. Be different. And get the interview!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Under30Careers!



About the Author: Jinesh Parekh is the founder of a Ruby on Rails Development shop, Idyllic Software. Idyllic Software provides web development services to companies to help them build their businesses. Follow Jinesh on Twitter!



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