For many job seekers, writing a cover letter is an even more painful prospect than writing a resume. That’s why so many people opt to take the easy way out and send canned cover letters – or no cover letter at all. However, cover letters are still necessary in today’s market. Hiring managers do read cover letters and those letters do influence their feelings about applicants. It’s important to take every measure to stand out and motivate them to call you for an interview. One way to do that is through a disruptive cover letter.
What Is a Disruptive Cover Letter?
Disruptive cover letters tell a compelling story that draws a connection between the applicant and the company they are applying to. It helps the hiring manager understand what connects you to the job you want and gives them a peek into your motivations. A disruptive cover letter should also show your alignment with the organization’s mission and culture and the value you bring to the table.
On the Indeed blog, the CEO of Work It Daily described one of the best disruptive cover letters she’d seen in her career. A 35-year old man was looking to make a career change from retail management to financial planning. His age was an obstacle for him because he wasn’t the typical recent grad that most financial companies look for when filling entry-level roles.
To stand out, his cover letter told the story of his career change. His father passed away suddenly, leaving his mother buried in debt. He taught himself as much as he could to help his mother avoid bankruptcy, pay off the debts and even carve out monthly retirement income. He discovered a hidden passion and talent and wanted to help other families plan for their futures. After using that story in his cover letter, his phone began to ring and his career finally took off.
How To Write a Disruptive Cover Letter
You may not have an emotional story like the financial planner, but you do have a compelling story to tell. When you sit down to craft your letter, ask yourself:
- Why, exactly does this job speak to you enough to make you want to apply?
- What does this employer do that makes you feel connected to their mission/vision/values?
- Why do you choose the work that you do? What do you find most gratifying?
- How can you save or make the employer enough money to cover the cost of hiring you and how could you prove this value to the employer?
The answers to these questions will give you a basis for your narrative. Start your letter off with a bold statement to catch attention and then tell your compelling story that makes you stand out, proves your value and makes the hiring manager want to meet you.