3 Ways to Write an Attention Grabbing Cover Letter – Emma Uchendu

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Attention is the new currency. It won’t be handed to you, you’ve got to earn it. I vividly remember my high school days, the days of letter writing. The days of “You are the sugar in my tea, the cockroach in my cupboard, the only flower in my garden.”

I mean, we just learned letter writing. Yet, we effectively utilised it to get what we wanted. Writing to our crushes, sweeping them off their feet, getting the yes we wanted. We were never “beggy.”

We proposed our values, got their attention, made their head swell, and then came the big yes. The next day, we showed up at school with goodies, keeping true to our promised values.

We never begged.

Stop looking at me like that. That was not all we did with the skill. We also wrote to those ”wicked uncles” who never replied or sent the money asked for.

Most of us, back then in high school, were excellent at letter writing, that they never once got a no. “Oh the good old days,” I love to say, and I know that some of my old uncles and aunties here are waiting to ask for my age.

These days, though, with the advent of social media, instant messaging, Whats App and the rest of them, it’s only a few who can excellently write amazing letters.

These days, you see job seekers begging in their letters. You see a lot of “I humbly apply” coming from those who are not even humble at all. Instead of proposing their values, you see people giving detailed analyses of their family problems, listing them as reasons to get hired.

They are unable to get attention of the hiring managers, more or less sustaining it. This is saddening. The recruiter looks at the first paragraph, throws the cover letter into the trash.

Attention is golden. I laugh when I hear people say they are not attention seekers. Maybe they aren’t, but as a job seeker, you must be.

Dear Jobseeker,

Your cover letter is the best way to introduce yourself, what you do, the solution, value, expertise and experience you’ve got to offer the firm, all within a limited amount of  time and word count.

To get noticed, it is advisable you start off with something that grabs the attention of the hiring manager.

Traditional cover letter wisdom tells you to always start a cover letter with something to the effect of:

Dear sir or madam,

I humbly write to apply for the position of an accountant in your reputable company.

While nothing is wrong with the above, I say the days of the quirky cover letter intro are over. Let me give you some insight into writing an amazing attention grabbing cover letter that hiring managers can’t resist, at least not at first read.

Let’s go!

Start with your love for the company
Starting with one’s love for the company is an amazing way to start one’s cover letter, as companies are genuinely interested in people who already know, eat, sleep and breathe their brands.

A little flattery here and a story there will do.

Example:

  • Most people are attracted to media houses because of the unverified gist, gossip, news and reports. And while all those things sound awesome, what really attracted me to BellaNaija was the factual, verified reportage, and its collaborative team.
  • I thought I had seen the best of the Operation Assistant position, but as I learn more about EveritinJob Services, and what they are doing to solve the problem of unemployment, I couldn’t help but get excited to part of the team, too.

Start with a passion
Starting with a passion is the best way to kick off a cover letter, as you already know what your passions are, and how related they are to the position you seek.

Examples:

  • I have been giving valuable financial advice to family and friends since I was eight, and recently decided it’s high time I got paid for what I love doing. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when I found an opening for the position of a finance expert at BellaNaija, I had to apply.
  • If loving data entry is wrong, I don’t want to be right. It seems like the rest of the team at XYZ feels the same way. And that’s just one of the reasons why I think I am the perfect hire to join your team. (Personally, I have used this a lot, and I have never gotten a single no before)

Start with creativity
This is another badass smart way to make whosoever will be reading your letter smile, and then call you for an interview. A little boost of hiring manager ego here and a compliment there won’t be bad. However, before you apply this, it would be nice for you to make your research about the firm and hiring manager. You dig? Okay! You smell nice.

Examples:

  • I’m interested in the career section of your amazing firm for the position of a contributor. But before I blow you away with all my reasons, I would love to tell you a little about myself: I have received a total of 50 rejection letters before my 25th birthday.
  • I never thought being vocal about my ideas, successes and misfortune would change my life. But thanks to my frustration, I discovered Spark, with an opening for a real life show anchor, and here I am applying.

And here you have the three effective attention-grabbing ways to kick off your cover letter, with six practical examples. Would you be practicing any in your next application?

Guys, how many crushes did you sweep off their feet back then? Ladies, be sincere, how many of our letters made you blush ceaselessly.

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