If You Want a Great Job, Write a Great Cover Letter

great-cover-letterWe are in the process of adding a Linux IT / PHP Developer to the OurChurch.Com team.  During this process, we’ve had a lot of people send resumes expressing an interest in the job.  Most of them, I never look at.  Let me tell you why that is and what you need to do to be seriously considered for your dream job.

Skills are Secondary  

When I hire someone, I am not primarily looking for a skills. And I am definitely not looking for degrees or certifications.  This may shock you, but it’s true.

What I am looking for is…

  1. Someone who is not just looking for any job, but cares enough about who they work with to spend a few minutes reading about our organization.
  2. Someone who shares a passion for our mission
  3. Someone who doesn’t just do what they’re told, but solves problems
  4. Someone who has a record of helping other organizations achieve their mission

A resume doesn’t show me any of that.  A cover letter can.

If you want to get serious consideration for your dream job, spend some time researching the organization you’re applying to.  Find out what they do, what makes them special.  Then write an awesome cover letter.

In your cover letter…

  • Demonstrate you know what the organisation does  and why they do it.
  • Tell them why what they do and why they do it resonates with you.
  • Tell them how you’ve helped at least one other organization accomplish their mission.
  • Explain why you believe you can help them achieve their mission.

If you do this, you will stand out from 90% of applicants who don’t.

Ultimately skills, work history and resumes do matter, but if you want an employer to look at them, you’ve got to get their attention with a great cover letter that shows you want to do more than just obey orders and collect a paycheck.

Discussion

  • If you’re looking for a job, are you making the effort to write a great, unique cover letter for each position you apply for?
  • If you hire people on a regular basis, what are your thoughts on the importance of a cover letter?

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