I’ve been in the job market for a few months and have been going through the motions of writing application or cover letters.
The general consensus is that you should write an application or cover letter when you’re applying for jobs. There is a lot of advice great advice on how to write a cover letter and on how a good letter can give your application an edge over other candidates.
When I first started looking, I was in the mode of wanting to overly impress my future employer through a formal application letter. My letter addressed the key job criteria and why I was suitable for the role. I thought it sounded pretty good.
Job application letter 1
Re: Digital Copywriter | Ref: 12345678
Dear [company I want to work for]
It was with great interest that I read your advertisement for a Digital Copywriter, as I’m a creative problem solver who is passionate about customer experience and digital content.
At IAG, I developed the content and user experience for a redesign of their retail-branded websites and wrote copy for their web applications, games, banners, campaign landing pages and websites.
I write compelling copy that converts. New account openings at Macquarie increased by 60% with copy that truly addressed business and customer needs.
I have experience with copywriting for SEO and I ran an SEO Guild within the Marketing team at Macquarie. I created my own website – www.iamlindalouse.com – using WordPress and I compiled analytics and insights for websites, campaigns and content hubs at Macquarie. I’m an excellent communicator and build strong and enduring relationships with my stakeholders.
If you feel my skills match the experience needed to provide the next world class content for your market-leading client, I look forward to meeting with you and your client to discuss the position in greater detail. I can be contacted on…
I look forward to hearing from you.
After sending this off as my standard cover letter for weeks, I started to think about the person reading this. They couldn’t really get a sense of my personality and it didn’t seem all that confident. Even though I was addressing all of the job criteria and it sounded impressive, it didn’t really give them a true sense of me. With this in mind, I wrote job application letter number two.
Job application letter 2
Re: Senior Creative Copywriter | Ref:123456
Hello [company I’d like to work for]
I’d love to apply for the role of Senior Creative Copywriter that I spotted on LinkedIn as it sounds exactly like me.
Here’s why I’d be awesome for this role…
- passion for all things creative and an exceptional creative problem solver
- over 12 years’ experience helping big brands achieve their digital goals
- experience across all formats in the digital world – social, email, websites, games and more
- seasoned communicator and love pitching ideas to stakeholders and clients
- proofreading is my middle name (well, it’s technically Louise) but I do get excited about a good quality check before go live
- a love of arts, music, travel and eating
…and many more reasons that I’d love to chat to you about in person.
I’ve scanned your skills and experience bullet list and I get a 92.3% hit rate. That’s a pretty good percentage.
I’ll throw out the elephant in the room now. I don’t have agency experience on my CV. However I have worked with several creative, advertising and design agencies over the years and I believe I have a solid understanding of what makes them tick.
I would welcome the opportunity to have a chat to you further about the role. I’ve attached my CV and a recent example of some long form copy. My portfolio and samples of my creative work can be found at iamlindalouise.com.
Can’t wait to hear from you.
So, which application letter was the winner?
The answer my friends, is neither of these application letters landed me an interview. However I felt a hell of a lot better about myself after I wrote the second one.
If you’re out there applying for jobs, my advice to you is to keep some of your personality in the letter and in the profile on your resume. It will give prospective employers a real idea of you. If they don’t like it, then it’s not the job for you.
You want to go somewhere you can feel you can make a difference and where you can wholeheartedly be the confident, fabulous, wonderful self that I know you are.
Do you have any tips to share about writing job application letters? Any letters that have nailed you the interview? I’d love to hear your comments.
Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash