Among the least favorable tasks in a job search, writing a cover letter probably takes the cake. And while the myth may be that hiring managers don’t read cover letters, you certainly don’t want to take that chance! However, it can be difficult to know how to get started, or what any individual employer may want to read. But, one of the best approaches to writing an effective cover letter is the pain point method.
What’s the pain point method? Well, for any employer looking to make a great hire, what they’re really looking for is someone who can solve a current problem for them. When you figure out what that pain point is, and you present yourself as a solution to the problem, the employer will probably want to hear more. But how do you begin to write such a cover letter? Read on below for how you can get started:
Do your research
Finding the pain point that you can address may require more than your typical company research prior to an application. In addition to thoroughly reviewing the company website, take a look at social media channels, as well as company reviews. Depending on the role, one of these may be more important than the others. For a customer-facing role, you may want to look closer at company reviews, while a sales or marketing role may mean reviewing the website and social media more. Regardless of the role, it is important that you acquire a deep understanding of that aspect of the business to pinpoint the right issue to address.
Consider your best skills
Now, this isn’t just about finding a problem, it’s about finding a problem that you can solve in this role. As a result, consider carefully how your unique skill set fits into the role, and where you would imagine you’re the most beneficial. Once you figure that out, the pain point that you should address may seem more obvious. For example, if you pride yourself on productivity in the workplace, you may look for evidence that the department is unable to keep up with their projects.
Find the pain point
Now that you know how you can best help the team, be on the lookout for how that solves a problem for your potential employer. Keep in mind, this may be a really obvious issue, and you may not have to search very hard to find it—employers may even describe a critical problem somewhere in the job description. While there’s no hard and fast rule to find what is irking your potential manager, you’ll know it when you see it.
Use past examples
Now that you know what this employer is struggling with and how you’re uniquely equipped to solve it, you need to demonstrate that you’ve solved a problem like this before with a past example. For instance, using the productivity pain point, you might say something like this:
“Because I was able to increase productivity X amount in my previous role at Y Company, I know I am ready to take on the challenge of increasing productivity at your organization by streamlining the workflow processes and setting competitive goals.”
Make it the focal point
As you write your letter, be sure that the pain point and your solution is the main topic of discussion. Keep in mind that it’s not only about simply communicating this information, but doing so convincingly. When the hiring manager finishes reading the letter, they should be left with the impression that you can confidently solve their problem.