How to write a covering letter that effortlessly persuades employers


How to write a covering letter that effortlessly persuades employers

Posted on 25 August 2021

​You’ve found the ideal role. Your CV is polished to perfection, includes all of the appropriate keywords, and has been formatted perfectly.

Now all that’s left is to write a cover letter. But the inspiration to write something creative and original just isn’t coming to you.

You’re certainly not alone. The cover letter is one of the trickiest parts of the job application process to get right. In just a few hundred words, you’ve got to present yourself and your experiences to an often complete stranger while persuading them you’re the ideal candidate they’ve been looking for.

All this stress surrounding the cover letter can quickly make you lose perspective. But at the end of the day, it’s a letter that’s being written from one person to another to persuade them about something.

There’s a whole range of persuasive writing advice out there, and to help you use it to write a cover letter that works, we’ve compiled the absolute best of it right here.

Focus on Repetition and Consistency

Understanding a person’s point can be tough, and that’s why repetition is so important for the transmission of messages. If you watch politicians and other speakers, you’ll notice that while the central argument remains the same, it is elaborated upon and repeated in different ways constantly.

When you write a cover letter, it’s important to adopt a similar approach. Write as though you’re speaking with the recipient sitting in front of you. Your thoughts shouldn’t be erratic, but they should be harmonised and support your central argument — that you’re the perfect fit for the job.

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P.E.E: Point, Evidence, Explain

The P.E.E method is the secret to persuasive success, and when it’s time to write a cover letter, it will make your arguments absolutely watertight. This is how it works:

  • You begin each of the individual arguments by making a point (you have the necessary experience for the role).

  • You provide evidence to support this claim (you have worked for a range of companies for a certain amount of time).

  • You conclude by explaining and elaborating (because you have this demonstrable experience you will be able to meet their goals).

Our minds are shaped to appreciate this type of argument and when done well, they’re incredibly convincing. If you stick to this logical structure, then your cover letter and chances of landing the job will be all the better for it.

Explore Social Proof

Whenever we hear a person try to convince us of something, we’re always well aware that this is one person’s subjective opinion, and thus we take what they say with a grain of salt.

Once demonstrable social proof is introduced, though, everything can change.

As humans, we place a lot of value on decisions that are made by groups of people, so if you can demonstrate to your recipient that your professional experience can be backed up with positive references and referrals from others, this will be of huge benefit to you.

Social proof will increase the chances of your cover letter’s success significantly, and if you do it an organic way, you’ll be sure to give yourself a huge advantage in landing the role.

Get Second Opinions

When you write a cover letter, you should get a second opinion from a friend or family member. They will be able to tell you whether the letter sounds convincing, and whether or not it captures your voice and sounds realistic.

It’s also a great way to at the same time get someone to help with the editing and proofreading process. It’s important to make sure that your cover letter gets in front at least one other person’s eyes before it reaches the one hiring for the role.

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