The job market is still tough. You must do something to break through the drudgery a hiring manager is experiencing as he goes through cover letter after bland cover letter. (Trust me, I just read through 80 resumes for a position we needed filled).
My recent job landing came through unique efforts and opportunities. It all started with my creative cover letter.
I was determined to have a unique, humorous approach to my job search. I started a temporary Facebook account in which I loaded in the content I wanted, did a screen capture. I then edited the screen capture with Photoshop mock-up of a Facebook wall and used humorous status updates that reflected the true value I could bring as employee. After converting this to a pdf, I then attached this creative cover letter to my traditional cover letter, and my resume and began launching it out. I made sure the title on the pdf file of the creative cover letter had a catchy title. I experimented with different titles including Whacky Cover Letter, Unorthodox Cover Letter, Funny Cover Letter, Facebook Cover Letter,etc. on different launches.
I had for some time sent out a serious cover letter and resume into the black hole of monster.com. Five days after creating the cover letter, I, on a whim, decided to check craigslist for some freelance copywriting opportunities. I came across the opportunity for a social media manager position at a mid-cities public relations agency. I shot my creative cover letter out on a Saturday morning and within 15 minutes had a call back from the company COO. He asked if I could come into their boutique public relations firm for an interview for their social media manager position. During the interview, it didn’t take long for me and the COO to realize I was a “wee bit” overqualified for the position. As we ended our interview, the COO mentioned that he felt for some reason, I really needed to meet his wife, the company CEO. Two days later that meeting happened, and she led off the conversation saying the creativity visible in the cover letter compelled her to meet with me. Her staff had vetted me and she was impressed. I was made an offer on the spot to become Senior Account Executive.
Lessons to draw upon.
Be creative. Do something to set yourself apart. Consider an add-on to your traditional cover letter.
Be willing to use atypical channels (yes, craiglist even).
Don’t fall into the myth that you have to know someone within the company. While it does help, it isn’t always necessary. I had absolutely no connections to anyone within the public relations firm.
Keep up your hope with hope (help one person everyday while you job searching).
Take the interview even if it is a company you’d like to work with but not the exact position you desire. On the other hand, if it is the exact position you want but in a company you’d never want to work for, skip it, unless you merely want to practice interviewing. Get in the door of your preferred companies or businesses, shine in the interview, and trust God with the details.