It seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many job-seekers fail to learn much – or anything – about the industry in which they want to work. Research takes effort, that effort can pay off quite well when it comes to crafting cover letters that result in interviews.
Remember the three “Ps” of sales:” Picture, Promise, and Proof. Your cover letter must contain these three elements. Provide a clear picture to the employer of who you are and why you are applying for the job; let him/her see the promise that you are the person with the skills and training for the job by listing your training and experience; and show proof by demonstrating your knowledge of the industry.
For many positions that require specific training or skills, it’s likely that you learned a great deal about the industry in the course of your study, training, and experience. However, this may not necessarily be the case in which the training is more general. For example, say that you have a degree in software engineering. This is a very broad field with thousands of different applications ranging from appliance manufacture and automotive engineering to video game design. Suppose you’ve been working in the development of business software, but you’ve always enjoyed playing MMPORPG (Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games). Now you want to work in game design and engineering.
Other than how to play them and a solid knowledge of software programming, how much do you know about the online gaming industry? (Hint: It’s HUGE, and growing – but not necessarily among American boys between the age of 12 and 18.) What are the demographics? What kind of role-playing games are popular? What do industry sales projections look like? What is the influence of popular film and culture, and what do these suggest for future industry trends? What new technologies are on the horizon, and what impact will these have on the online gaming industry?
Demonstrating your knowledge of such facts in cover letters and resumes will go a long way toward making a powerful and positive impression on your prospective employer.
The best place to begin doing your homework is right in front of your own personal computer. Virtually any industry you can name, from underwater basket weaving to nuclear medical technology, has at least one website (and usually many more) devoted to it. Other excellent sources of information are industry trade journals, which are usually available at public libraries.
Make good use of these resources before you write your cover letter and resume – learn about business trends, advances in related technologies, and current marketing trends. Demonstrating your knowledge and familiarity with this information in your cover letter and resume will go a long way in proving that you are the person for the job.
More information on writing cover letters can be found throughout this blog and website. Visit CoverLetterCentral.com for sample cover letters.
See all posts on cover letter