One of the most common mistakes our team encounter in job application letters is that job seekers communicate based on their own needs; I call this communication from the I perspective.
An applicant who communicates from an “I” perspective is mainly concerned with questions such as: “What can the company mean for me ?” and “in what ways will my life be better if I sign a contract with you?”
This approach (the ‘I perspective’) often comes through clearly in the letter, with the result that the message does not do what it should do: convince the employer.
Although the underlying idea of an application is always to improve the situation (after all, you only get started if you get better from it), you will never be tempted by an employer to invite you for an interview.
Therefore, it is not about you as an applicant and what you need to get started, it is about what the employer wants.
Let this dive in!
This part of the application process is almost entirely about the employer. Only much later in the application process does this become more equal and your wishes become relevant.
The key to a successful temptation is understanding the other party and responding to this. Just like in love. If you have no idea what the other wants, it can waste your time without achieving any positive results.
It is therefore essential that you can put yourself in the position of the employer.
If an employer has a vacancy outstanding, this is a sign of a need. A new staff is needed for a specific position. However, the staff is not the end goal.
It is a medium to achieve this goal. For example, an open vacancy for a salesperson does not indicate so much that they are eager for a new salesperson. It is primarily a sign that they want to realize more sales. Hiring a new salesperson is to achieve their goal; the new staff must be the solution to a problem being experienced.
In short, if you want to seduce an employer, you will have to present yourself as the solution. This requires a piece of self-marketing.
Self-marketing for applicants
Just as marketers sell a product or service, it is essential that you market yourself as a solution to a problem of the employer. You do this by showing what you have to offer them; how you make their lives better.
Self-marketing, therefore, requires an entirely different approach than the ‘I perspective’ that is so often used in cover letters.
An employer wants to be convinced of the fact that you are a valuable addition to the company; that the value that your work will deliver will exceed your future salary.
Employers want to be convinced that you are a good investment.
An excellent way to create the right mindset before you write a letter is to put yourself in the position of the employer for a few minutes.
Suppose you are responsible for fulfilling the position, what would the ideal candidate look like? What is he/she good at?
Then make a list of essential characteristics and make an inventory of which of these characteristics correspond to your characteristics. The characteristics that can be found on both lists are the characteristics that you will emphasize during your application – and therefore in your cover letter.
You will have to ‘sell’ these characteristics. Moreover, that is where it becomes challenging for many applicants. In short, sell the solution, the contribution of your presence rather than focusing on yourself only!