Finally, you found it!
The ‘dreamiest’ dream job; the one you’ve been searching for all your life (insert Rihanna’s where have you been) finally waltzed into existence. And you’re ready to apply.
Excitedly, you sit down to craft your cover letter, and the predominant thought in your mind is: I hope I get picked. I really want this job.
Anxiety meets excitement, triggering a rush of paralyzing thoughts and questions: Am I good enough? Do I have the right qualifications? What if they’ve already found someone to hire? I think I am just wasting my time! What if they hate my guts? What if I sound too casual? Or too formal? What if I come across as too dull? Or even, too smart? Am I just kidding myself? Gosh!
With those thoughts flooding through your mind, what pours out of your brain and receives life by your fingertips goes something like this:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to inform you of my interest in applying for the position of social media director at JFK.com. I believe I am highly qualified and possess the necessary skills to meet the criteria you have outlined. Over the past several years, I have refined my ability to…
You pause mid-sentence, conscious of the fact that your cover letter sounds totally depressing and awkward. And you realize how totally depressing and saddening it is to convince someone that you’re “worthy” of respect and attention when all you manage to scribble is—well, totally depressing and awkward!
I wish I could insert a sad smiley here (just for effects)
Fret not! I have good news!
There’s a very simple mind trick that changes your entire cover letter-writing approach in an instant.
Imagine that the person you’re writing to already loves and respects you. Imagine that the person you’re writing to already believes that you’re worthy and valuable. Just imagine that the person you’re writing to doesn’t need a big sales pitch. Imagine you are writing a love letter.
For a minute, pretend this person already gets what makes you a great employee. In fact, you’re basically already hired! The recruiter is just curious to learn a little bit more about you.
You could even imagine that you just received an email from your soon-to-be employer, saying:
Hello John, since you’re practically a part of the family (JFK.com), we’d all love to learn a little more about you!
So, tell us: What inspired you to apply for this position? (Be rest assured that we are glad you did!) What are your big passions, dreams, and goals? Have you got any ideas on how we could do things even better around here?
We’re so curious! We love your smart brain, we value your ideas, and we want to get to know you!
Now, return to your cover letter draft, start on a fresh page, and see if what pours out of your brain doesn’t sound similar to this:
To my friends at JFK.com:
When I learned that you were seeking a new social media director, I was ecstatic.
Because when I’m not geeking out about the hottest trend or hashtag on Twitter, checking out the latest Instagram filter or a trending meme, you can usually find me at the beach—reading a book.
Social media, books and the sea: are my greatest passions. Using one to learn, another to inform and the last to heal and soothe.
My current role as a marketing manager at Jane Doe has been a great blessing—for the past two years, I’ve learned at the feet of the best in the business. And while my current position is almost the perfect picture, my boss fully supports my desire to find a new role that brings together all of my passions—especially my passion for social media activism. In fact, when I told him about the position at JFK.com, he smiled and said, “You’ve got to go for this. I’ll be furious if you don’t.”
I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to request an interview and assure you that “references are available upon request.” This of course, is true.
But deep down, what I really want to do is offer you a gift: a plan to help your marketing team use social media even more powerfully, starting right now. You can follow the link to download the plan. I hope it’s helpful and fun. (I certainly had fun creating it!)
Oh, and if you’d like to talk about the plan over coffee, chat more about the open position, or swap stories about the latest books I am reading—I’d be thrilled. Hope to hear from you soon.
Here’s to a bigger and better brand,
[Your name here]
What do you think?
The lesson here is: The next time you need to sell yourself, just tell yourself: They already love and respect me. There’s nothing I need to prove. In life, you need to learn when to close your eyes to the stark, harsh and grey realities and just imagine. If pretending helps your brain churn incredible pieces, then it’s precisely what you need to do.
Plus, sometimes, fantasizing can lead to real-world results. Try it—and see if it works for you!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Photographerlondon