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Like it or not, a big contributor to your success is how good you are at convincing people to hire you. You have to learn to market your skills. And there is no better way to do that than to write a persuasive and compelling cover letter.
Most people spend too much time focusing on their resumes. They write about their accomplishments and experiences. Although these are important, what matters is how you can use your experience to benefit a future client or employer. That’s what she cares about – how you will benefit her company or department.
A resume has a certain structure you must follow. This can be restrictive. It does not let your thoughts and ideas flow freely. And if you don’t have any experience as a technical writer, your it may not be very impressive. This is where a cover letter becomes your most important marketing tool.
It can stir your client’s emotions in your favor. She should think, “This is the perfect candidate for the job!”
Another advantage of writing a powerful cover letter is that it makes you stand out. Some people don’t even include a cover letter. Imagine that you are the client going through a stack of applications, letters and resumes. They all talk about accomplishments and experiences. Some are impressive, others are ordinary and boring.
And then you come across a candidate who shows you how he can benefit your organization. It says that this candidate can use his skills or experience to help you achieve your goals. The candidate proposes a list of steps he will take to ensure your success. Wouldn’t you be impressed?
There are two very important things to keep in mind when writing your cover letter:
- It not focus on you but your client or prospective employer.
- You must specifically show the reader how you will use your skills or experience to benefit her.
The conventional thought is that the goal of a cover letter is to get the reader to open your resume. But what if your resume is thin on experience and disappoints the reader?
Remember – you only have one chance to convince your client that you are the right person for the job. Which is why your letter should be so impressive that the client wants you for an interview. It should compel her to pick up the phone and call you.
Your goal should be to create such a positive impression that your resume does not become a deciding factor. It should support what you’ve written in your cover letter.
How to Write a Compelling Letter
Follow these steps:
1. Research the company, business and product
Spend some time researching the company or product you will be writing about. This will give you an idea about the company’s history and its goals.
Note down specific facts, numbers and statistics. When you use these specific details it impresses the reader. It tells her you’ve done your research and this is not a template you send to all clients and employers.
2. Make a list of your skills and experiences
When creating this list, only include the skills that will be relevant to the job or project.
3. Think of how your skills will benefit the client or employer
This is a very important step in the creation of your cover letter. It’s what your client cares about. She wants to know how you will benefit her. To create this list of benefits you will need to get information from the job description.
4. Write it
Once you have organized your thoughts and ideas, write your letter. Don’t use long sentences and confusing words. Convey your thoughts clearly and concisely. You must artfully weave your skills and how you will use these skills to benefit the reader. She should get excited after reading your letter.
“What about my resume?” you may wonder. “Is it not important?” Yes it is. It should support what you have stated in your cover letter.
This approach of using your resume as a supporting document is not how we’ve been trained to think. Most people first create their resume and then write the cover letter as an after thought. That’s the ordinary approach. Which is why they get ordinary results.
To get extraordinary results you have to make your cover letter your silent salesman. Use this approach the next time you apply for a job or project.
If you can write a simple sentence and organize your thoughts then technical writing may be a rewarding field. You can easily make it an extra income stream.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average salary for technical writers is $60,380. Freelance technical writers can make from $30 to $70 per hour.
But to succeed you must learn how to market yourself to clients. That’s where ProTech – Your Fast Track to Becoming a Successful Technical Writer can help. It’s a technical writing course that does two equally important things:
1. It teaches you the skills to become a technical writer in the shortest time frame. You’ll learn to create manuals, procedures, tutorials, processes, proposals, spec sheets and other documents that businesses need.
2. It shows you how to market yourself to clients so you can start your income stream as soon as possible.
In fact, you’ll get a complete marketing toolkit which has templates and technical writing job sites to get started immediately!
To learn more go to http://www.techwritingcourse.com/bright_future