How to Write a Cover Letter or Motivation Letter (for #1 companies/schools, incl. template) | Felix Peeters | Skillshare

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How to Write a Cover Letter or Motivation Letter (for #1 companies/schools, incl. template)

teacher avatar Felix Peeters, Interview Coach & Partnerships Manager

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 1m)
    • 1. Cover Letter Intro

    • 2. Cover Letter Introduction

    • 3. Chapter 1 - Objective of the Cover Letter

    • 4. Chapter 2 - The Winning Cover Letter Structure (SOP)

    • 5. Chapter 3 - Paragraph 1

    • 6. Chapter 4 - Paragraph 2

    • 7. Chapter 5 - Paragraph 3

    • 8. Chapter 6 - Paragraph 4

    • 9. Chapter 7 - Keywords and Strategies to Go Around the Formal Process

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About This Class

First, you download our winning cover letter templateYou can find the template in the "Projects and Resources"-section. Work along as you watch the chapters to end up with your own version of the cover letter or motivation letter that works for the most prestigious companies or schools. Impress every recruiter or hiring manager with this winning cover letter structure. Learn from our most advanced dos and don'ts. Tap into creative strategies to circumvent the formal application process. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Felix Peeters

Interview Coach & Partnerships Manager


Hello, I'm Felix.

For the past year-and-a-half I have been working for Google in Belgium and the UK. 
When I was in HEC Paris Business School, we developed a method to write resumes, CVs and cover letters that would always work. We sell these letters and CVs, but today I want to give you the chance to simply do it yourself. We will use the Skillshare platform to bring our bestselling products to you.


If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

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1. Cover Letter Intro: Hi, My name is Felix and this is my online course in motivation. Letter writing. In this course, we will write one motivation letter and we'll do it together. We'll do it step by step. You also get the templates such that you can work about. What we will basically share is our magic formula or the working structure that we have discovered. And this structure has secured offers from an amazing amount of companies. We're talking about companies such as Google Spotify, uber Amazon, but also Goldman Sachs and Citibank. There was also consultancy firms such as Hold on Burger or Oliver Wyman. This motivation letter also works for exclusive schools were talking about schools such as Oxford, Harvard, the London School of Economics, London Business School, A GC, Paris. We're talking about business schools, mostly, but not exclusively. But in any case, schools that are exclusive hard to get into, So what will you learn? First of all, you will not just learn how to write the perfect motivation letter. You'll actually end up with your version off what we consider the best possible motivation that air in terms of impact in terms of securing an offer at the same time, you will learn from our very advanced do's and dont's. When it comes to writing a motivation letter, you'll also learn how to make all the statements, every statement that you make, how to make those measurable and how to quantify those. What you'll also learn is how to deal with the idea that it's gonna be a computer that reads your motivation letter before it's being read by a recruiter or the hiring manager. We're gonna be talking about applicant tracking systems and how to deal with those. The last thing you learn is how to deliver your materials once you have your perfect version off, the winning Motivation letter will also tell you how to actually deliver them. How to make sure that whenever you apply, you have the best chance of getting. What we essentially want to achieve is that within two hours you can have your version off the winning Motivation letter, and those two hours include downloading the template, working along as you go through all the lectures in this video course and finalizing your letter all of that within two hours. I am really happy that you're here. If you have any questions, Feel free to reach out to us. Our contact information is on the course page now. I hope you enjoy the course. And of course, I wish you the best of luck with your application materials. 2. Cover Letter Introduction: Hi, My name is Felix. Welcome to the first chapter off this video course on writing the winning cover letter. So in this video, of course, I will go over all the steps that you need to write that one winning cover letter that got people into basically any company or any top school. The way we will be doing this video is I will give you some actionable advice and I will build up a cover letter together with you and we'll build it up, sentence by sentence and step by step. One thing you could do if you wanna work along, is just pause the video and then just adapt the sentences and plug in some words to make this letter reflect your story. If not, I still want to be sure that after having watched this video course, you'll be able to build your cover letter in under 30 minutes. All right, so for this first chapter, which is a general introduction and the objective of a cover letter first, let me tell you what the other chapters will be about. In the second chapter. I'll give you the actual winning formula. I'll give you the structure that we have developed to get her with you be next, a structure that really allows you to convince any recruiter or hiring manager about your motivation and about your skill. So at this point, you should be about four paragraphs away from having your winning cover letter. And then after the second chapter, there is gonna be four chapters. That is basically gonna be the paragraphs. So for each paragraph will go over the cover letter sentence by sentence. And I'll give you some alternatives such that you can adapt each paragraph to your liking, but also to make sure that it does reflect, um, your story. There's also gonna be 1/7 chapter in which I'll tell you the technique of using keywords. Because even if you follow this winning formula or this this magic formula, the winning structure that we've developed, it's still important to speak the language of the company to use the exact same words. And this is a specific technique that I'll be going over in Chapter seven 3. Chapter 1 - Objective of the Cover Letter : Here we are, Chapter one, the general objective of a cover letter. This may sound straightforward, and it's not as actionable as Chapter two on all the chapters following Chapter two, but it's still super important for you to realize why you are writing a cover letter, because usually you ride a cover letter along with a C V, and it's very important for you to understand the difference in both cases. It really comes down to selling yourself, but you'll be selling yourself in a different way. So if you think about yourself as a product that you're trying to sell to a company, then for a TV it's really a list. Off features a list of features that also reflects your experience, but also whatever you can do. So it's really selling yourself as a product based off. A list of features were us for a cover letter. It's something different entirely for a cover letter. You want to sell yourself as a solution to a problem, So instead of selling based off a list of features, you're gonna be providing a solution to a problem that you're gonna be describing. You're literally gonna describe a problem and then provide yourself as the solution to that problem, and that is really the purpose off a cover letter. So and I cannot stress this enough. Your CV and your cover letter are different. Your cover letter should not be a long winded version off your CV. It should be about subduction. It should be about motivation and should be about your capabilities. And that's pretty much the only similarity with the C V, the structure, the format. It's gonna be entirely different. So what is it about? Well, it's three things. It's first of all. It's about your motivation. It's about seducing a hiring manager or a recruiter to find you interesting. And it's about providing yourself as a solution to a problem. That's really what a cover letter is about. All right, so that's 40 introduction. I think you're ready to move on to the second chapter, where I'll be giving you the actual magic formula behind the perfect or behind the winning cover letter 4. Chapter 2 - The Winning Cover Letter Structure (SOP): Hi. This is chapter to in the previous chapter, you've learned what the objectives are off a cover letter. Now we are going to be building this letter as from Chapter Tree. But first, here it is. This is the magic formula that we have designed. It's very simple. It's four paragraphs. And let me just tell you what should be in beach. I'm not going into detail at this point, but for each paragraph, I want you to tell them this for paragraph one, it should be surprised. Interest, an intrinsic motivation. That's really what the first paragraph should be about. You should have a surprising opening. You should find a way to be interesting because this is your This is your first introduction. This is where they get to know you. Now you only have about 4 to 10 seconds to convince a recruiter or a hiring manager that they should be reading your entire letter. So you really want to open with a very, very strong sentence, something that will you vote their interests, something that will make sure that they keep reading. So that's definitely something that you need in your first paragraph. Your first paragraph is also meant to tell them what your intrinsic motivation is. So you should never say I think it's a cool company. You should really demonstrate with a very good example why you specifically think that that company specifically is a very cool company or a very exciting place for you to work. So that's also really something that you need in your first paragraph. Then in the second paragraph, and you can see it right here. And this is a bit special. Actually, in the second paragraph, you want to describe a problem to them. This sounds a bit counterintuitive, but you're really gonna be making statements about a problem that they are facing. So you're talking about their overall business objectives or challenges, but also the day by they struggle that they are experiencing within the team or within the rule that you are targeting. It sounds a bit weird that you're gonna be thrown facts at them. But you're gonna literally say, Hey, this is your problem, and that's gonna be paragraph two. Now, in the third paragraph, you're gonna provide yourself as the solution to their problem. You see how paragraphs two and three go very well together. In the second paragraph, you say this is your problem. And then in the 3rd 1 you say And here I am. I am the solution that actually loves your problem. That's what you want to be saying, and it goes very well now. How should you? How should you present yourself as the solution to their problem? I think, of course you can say And that's exactly what I'm good at. Or and that's exactly what I love doing and that's already very good. But even better would be if you either use an anecdote, you basically just pull out some past experience in the form of a good story that really proves to them that you are, in fact, the solution to their problem. And another good way to go about this in Paragraph three is to use 1/3 party validation. If you can use an external authority saying, based off the reference that I got from my previous internship manager, for instance, you should you should come up with a some sort of story, or at least some proof that you, in fact, are the solution to the problem that they are experiencing So what goes into the fourth paragraph. If you've already had your introduction, where you are interesting and you show your intrinsic motivation, you have described the problem and you provide yourself is the solution to the problem. You have pretty much almost convinced them. So there's one last thing for you to do, and that is really showed that apart from you being able to cope with the things that you will be dealing with on the job, you should also show that you have a cultural fit. You actually live and breathe the values and the culture of that company at the same time. The four paragraph is also meant to make sure that they remember you. If you want to make sure they remember, you make sure that in the fourth paragraph you think outside of the box you do something special. Maybe you congratulate them on something. Or maybe you even wish them good luck in the whole process. Just make sure that you give it a twist, such that afterwards, after having read your entire letter, there is one reason to always remember you. Actually, I think the first paragraph in the last paragraph are pretty much about convincing them to read. That's the first paragraph, but also making sure that they remember you. Where is the bigger paragraphs which is doing three. That's really to prove how you are worthy off the job. So this is it. This is actually the magic formula that we've been using at this point. There was really one more thing that I want you to do. Of course, I do want you to use this thing structure this magic formula, and I do want you to put in each paragraph what I just told you. But then, after having written your letter, I want you to do a check because there is one way that you can actually make sure that your letter contains everything that it should be containing. And that is by asking three questions. So the first question that you should ask is, Why this company? Why, specifically, why this company and not any other company? If you cannot answer this question based on whatever you wrote in your motivation letter, then your letter is probably not complete. The second question, why this rule? Why are you going for this role for disposition and not any other position within that company. It's very important that based off whatever you wrote, you can actually explain that. And then the third question, why you you should ask yourself, Okay, why is it that I and a better fit for disposition than anyone else? If this is not something that you can answer based off what you just wrote, then you should probably dive back into it because it means that you have some more work to do. But these three questions it's really a good way to check whether your motivation letter is complete. Okay, so after using the magic formula and doing the checks with three questions, you should have that one magic cover letter that got people into, well, basically any company out there or any top tier school. So, um, I'm pretty sure that now you're very excited to go to go deeper into it. So let's do it. Let's just go to the first paragraph where I'll show you the example. The example is also on the template that you can download, and then what you can do is you can actually think about yourself in your own story. And once I go over the examples of whatever you can put into the first paragraph. Just pick something big, something that you like picking approach that you think is appropriate and then change the words and change the story. But let's do it. Let's work on the first paragraph together in Chapter Tree. 5. Chapter 3 - Paragraph 1: Hi, guys. Here we are. It's chapter tree now off this video course on writing the winning cover letter. And for the third chapter, what we're gonna be doing is we're gonna be looking at the first off four paragraphs that you should have for writing that motivation letter. So the first paragraph, what does it obviously start with? We are writing a letter, so it should start with a great opening sentence. Now, there is one thing that I want you to keep in mind, and that is that you have two options. You either address someone which is gonna be the hiring manager or the recruiter or someone in HR. So you could either address them or you just jump straight into it and you start with one, um, one very convincing sentence, so you don't necessarily have to address a person. But if you are addressing someone, there is still different ways to do it. And just to show you what your options are and how you should do it, let's look at some ways you should definitely not start your cover letter if you're addressing a specific person. So here is a list of ways. How you can do it. And this is This is not how you should do it. Let's start with this example, Dear recruiter. So this is not the worst way to open your cover letter. But the problem is it's not very personal. So if this letter is, if this letter is actually received by hiring manager or someone in the team and they're not exactly a recruiter, they will not really feel like you're addressing them. And it's always an advantage if you know what names. So, dear recruiter, it's fairly traditional. But the biggest problem is that it's not personal, so I would definitely avoid using Dear Recruiter. Now, the second thing that you see here is I am writing to express my interest. So this could be the start of your letter or coming right after the recruiter. But should one of your 1st 2 sentences be, I'm writing to express my interest. Honestly, you only have four paragraphs to to really impress them. And if one of the sentences is gonna be, I'm writing to express my interest. Well, this should be pretty obvious. You are writing to express your interest, so why not just leave this sentence out. Also, it comes across as, um you know, very traditional. And also it's not original. It's not like you made this up yourself. It's almost as if you you plug this off the Internet. So I would definitely not say I'm writing to express my interest because it's it's pretty obvious it gets even worse. If you would say, dear Madame or sir, this is also very impersonal because you don't even know the gender of the person you're you're actually addressing. But at the same time, it's very formal, and it's very old fashioned to say dear Madame or sir, So I would try not to use their Madame or sir. I definitely don't recommend it. Okay, to whom it may concern. I think the problem is clear. If I set the dear madame or sir is already quite old fashioned in these days, when you're when you're writing for a job application, I think to whom it may concern is probably even worse. It doesn't mean that you do not know whoever it concerns your just writing it to a company , hoping it will land, Um, don't ever use to whom it may concern. It's just not a great way to open your, uh, to open your motivation letter. Now, um, hello. Um, you're gonna be laughing, but I read this one's Hello, comma. This is very, very unprofessional. It's super informal, You say, Hello, comma. That's how you write to your friends or your family, but definitely not toe hiring manager. So it's really about finding the golden in between. But hello is definitely too unprofessional in this case. So what should you do? How can you be polite but not too old fashioned? And how can you be a very specific in regards to who you're addressing? I think there is only one good way, and that is to really go the extra mile and figure out who it is that is making the hiring decision. Isn't the recruiter at this point the recruiter that is gonna be receiving your letter? Or is it already gonna be the hiring manager? Sometimes, you know, sometimes you're already interacting with the company, and it's really the hiring manager or the manager of the team that says, please send over your CV and your motivation letter. Well, at this point, you know who to address you just say, Dear Mr Jacob, for instance. But if you really don't know who it is, you can still try. You can go linking on Lincoln. You can always find name off the person in charge of a specific team. And if it's not working out, this is about your next job. So you could even go ahead and take a linked and premium account for one month just to be able to make more specific searches. But at this point, if you can figure out who it is that you're targeting, chances are that if someone else receives the letter, they will still pass it along to the right person. If Lincoln doesn't show you who it is you're targeting, you should make a phone call. Just call the frontline staff, call the reception and asked them the name of the person in charge of that specific team. And sometimes they are the gatekeepers. Sometimes they cannot really give you this information, but then at least you tried. Try by all means, try to figure out who it is you're writing to, because that will give you the perfect opening sentence. You can actually address that person, and it's really powerful. Now if you are unable to figure out who it is you're writing to and you still want to have a strong opening, what I would suggest is just skip the whole line where you address a specific person. Just get that entirely and just jump to the action. Just write a very convincing sentence that is almost like the beginning of the story. And again, you have two options here. Either This already reflects one of your interests and look at an example here instead of saying Dear Mr Jakob, you could also just say all my friends say that I love data more than people, and this is not entirely true. I love engaging in constructive interactions with fellow human beings. As long as I get my daily portion of numbers to crunch, this is a lot about you, and it's also fun to read. It means that you know that you're a bit of a geek and you love numbers. You love data analysis, which is probably and hopefully a skill that they're looking for, Order writes. You wouldn't have. You wouldn't have said it like this, but at the same time it shows that you have a sense of humor. The idea that you can actually mock yourself. I'm saying fellow human beings is also a very funny way to phrase it. It does mean that you have both, right. It means that you like data analysis, but at the same time, you're good at communicating with other people. It's a really funny way to introduce yourself. I would say it's a strong opening. This doesn't really show motivation, but at least it shows your passion or your interest. So this would actually be a great sentence to start with. And then if you don't want to show an interest that first and you really want to be intriguing and you wanna awake their interest, there is another option. You could also tell them a story and try to make this as engaging. It's possible now. You cannot do this for any kind of company, But if this is a start up, you're targeting or a tech firm or even any other firm where you know that the team is small or a T least, the general structure is not too formal. What I mean by this is don't ever do this when you're targeting finance company or one of the big consulting firms. But if you're targeting any other firm where you sends that, they're gonna be enjoying a cool story than this is something else that you could say. It was half past eight in the morning. I could not feel my legs. I knew I was about to run and I had trouble breathing. I heard the gun shot. Everything went black. Now this may sound like it's a bit much, but actually, I can assure you that after having read something like this, no one will stop reading. They may not love it in the beginning, but at least they'll be intrigued. If there is one thing you can be sure off, then it is that no one will ever stop reading after this being your first sentence. Also do make sure to afterwards, give it some context. And in this case it was a guy describing how he felt when the first time he participated in competitive sports. So this was a cross country race, where he almost fainted because of anxiety. But then afterwards he didn't finish last. He kept running. He joined in athletics club. He kept doing competition. He got good. And I think the whole moral of the story is that he he didn't give up. So I guess this is also a very cool way to introduce yourself. Now, Either you address someone or you start with an engaging story or you show a personal interest. But also do make sure that this first paragraph contains a very specific reason why you choose this company. So one good thing you could do here is say something that you have read in the local news that it's not super obvious, something that not everybody knows about the company. But you know it for very specific reasons. Or tell them how you felt about their latest product, lounge, or about their latest acquisition off some new technology that they're now using to do even cooler things. Tell them how you feel about a specific part of their company, and not just about their company as a whole. So I think another thing you could be doing here is, for instance, and we're just looking at the example. Cover letter here. When I recently learned about the GPS integration off Spotify in the ways GPS app, I ran down four flights of stairs to share it with my friends. What you're saying here is that you follow the news about the company, but also that their latest move their latest integration of technologies with a different firm, which is waste that has now been acquired by Google. But still the latest thing that they did in terms off feature integration is something that you were so passionate about that you ran down four flights of stairs to high five your friends and say, Wow, this is super cool. So this is really showing your genuine interest, your intrinsic motivation to work for this company based off a really example or an anecdote, the perfect way to start your cover letter and definitely something that should happen in the first paragraph. Now this example goes on to say reading about Spotify eyes, latest acquisitions in machine learning and AI triggers the geek within me. The way Spotify commercialize the disruptive business model and revolutionized the way we listen to and share music excites me. Today I am hoping to contribute to the exciting corporate culture that evolved around the product that I feel passionate about. So this first paragraph really has it all. You shoot, you show something about yourself. You show them your intrinsic motivation based off an anecdote. But you also really tell them that you want to be working for that company. And what would have made this cover letter even better is if you would plug the name of the position in there as well. That would really make this first paragraph complete. But at least this is a good example. A good example off you using the actual news to show your intrinsic motivation. And it's a good anecdote. So I would say you are addressing someone here. You're starting with dear Mr Jake up, which is good, but you don't even have to. And especially if you don't know that it's gonna be Mr Jacob. You don't have any clue about the name of the person making the decision, Then just jump straight to the story. But this is a good example of how to do it. And there is many alternatives out there. I've given you the one about being a data nerd and about how your friends tell you that you like daytime more than humans. It's funny. Just find an example for yourself that actually fits with the story. And if not, just think about something crazy that you've ones done and plug it in. There is a story. Let me give you two more examples just to give you some inspiration before we go to the next chapter. There was this. There was this one girl that I knew and she had always been a lifeguard. She had been a lifeguard where sometimes she had to save people. And of course, the story was a bit exaggerated. But something that she wrote into her first paragraph. We made this discover letter to get her with her and you be next. And this was something that she didn't. It was really cool, she said. Ever since I was 19 years old, I have been passionate about saving lives. This is a cool way to say that you were a lifeguard, but at the same time, you capture their interest. So that was another cool example. And then there is one more thing that I once read. This was not something that I had anything to do with. It was it was quite bull, but I didn't love. It was a guy that said, Had I known that I was about to punch a shark in the face, I would have probably not gone swimming that day. Super cool story. Whenever I would read, it would be like, Whoa, tell me more And then, hopefully this guy also included his intrinsic motivation in the first paragraph. But at least he nailed the beginning. He didn't address anyone. He jumped straight to the story, and the story was super engaging. So that's just to give you some inspiration. I think you now know what should go into the first paragraph. You add her address someone, or you don't. At least you make sure that your first sentence is super engaging. It's either a story or it says something about yourself, your interests or your hobbies. Then you show some intrinsic motivation for the company, maybe based often anecdote or something that you read in the news. And if you can, you also plug in the name of the position that you're targeting. That's all you need for the first paragraph, so good. Look, write down some things. If you want to remember it. You also have the template. You can download it and you can actually go from there. Now let's move on to the next paragraph where I'll be showing you how to actually describe the problem that the company's facing. So see you in the next chapter. 6. Chapter 4 - Paragraph 2: Hi, guys. This is already chapter for where we're gonna be describing the problem that the company has. It's a bit counterintuitive. You always want to be talking about yourself in a motivation letter or in a cover letter. But you really don't have to. In this second paragraph, we're gonna be making some statements about the challenges that the company has about the problems that the specific team is facing and about the day by day struggles that they actually have. Now this paragraph is super important. Why? Because it shows them that you understand exactly what you will be doing. You will actually be reducing the risk in their head because you can already prove to them that you know what it is that they are doing. So they will feel much more comfortable hiring you if they know that you already have a clue. This is a very important paragraph, but it's also super tricky. It's tricky because it has to be 100% entirely correct. If you talk about yourself and you exaggerate or it's not 100% correct, no one's ever gonna know. But if you're gonna be making statements about what they're doing on a daily basis, and it's not correct. You're gonna look pretty stupid. So you want to be doing your research for this part. Off the cover letter, Paragraph two, you describe a problem to them. You tell them that this is what they're struggling with. This is what they do on a daily basis. This is the skills that they need. This is probably the skills that they are lacking. You tell them all of this, as if you know as if you've been there. It's a bit bold. It's a bit risky, but if you do it right, you're pretty much halfway winning. You're pretty much half weight getting your first interview, so let's just have a look at an example. Let's have a look at our example cover letter. That is also the template that you have just to give you an idea of how specific you can be in describing their problem and describing their struggles. So here it is. This guy goes on saying that software sales brings many challenges, such as finding the balance between high touch company focus and scaled business to business acquisition efforts as well as necessary cooperation between marketing and sales. Tailoring platform products to specific company objectives and distinguishing between branding and performance cools off advertisers To make online campaigns impactful requires experience, detail orientation and perfect communication skills. Discussing campaign reports, crunching numbers, presenting results to internal stakeholders and perfecting presentations. I can easily envision enjoying the daily challenges within the roll off platform sales manager. So what this guy did here is first of all, in this case, he mentions the position that he's targeting in the second paragraph in about the 1st 1 It's not ideal, but it definitely works as well. So he mentions the role or the position that he's targeting. But then, when he also does is he also already mentions the top level challenges that it brings. What are your let's say, the most abstract challenges that you can be facing within this role? He also mentioned some of the skills that you need afterwards, and then he goes on by saying what the day by day activities and the day by the actions are that he'll be performing If you would think the role again. This is a risk because you cannot know for sure, But if you do this right. Then maybe the hiring manager or the recruiters will actually get the feeling that they have already hired you and that instead of making a decision, you're already doing what you're supposed to be doing, and you will become a safe bet in their head. So let me see if I can give you some other examples. A company that is looking for a business developer slash growth factor. You should not go on by saying that you love growth, hacking or that you love developing businesses. That's super crazy. You should actually showed them at this point that you know what that means. Just break it up in different activities that you can envision doing on the role if you nail this and if you do it right and I agree that it's tricky. But if you do it right, you can actually take away some of the risk that the company's facing. If you can prove to them that you are actually already doing the things that they should be doing, it will feel to them as if they had already hired you and you become less of a liability. You're not a risk they're not taking a decision there just letting you go through because you're already doing it. It works super well, but at the same time challenged him. Maybe you're actually proposing a problem that they didn't even know they had. But if you're doing so afterwards, you're proposing yourself as the solution to that problem or the solution that loves that problem. Well, if you that right, you'll see that paragraph two and three are actually matching there. They're going to get her. It's like playing Ping Pong to yourself. Basically, you'll definitely win the game. Eso this other example about growth hacking, for instance. You should not say I love marketing and I have done a lot of coding. You should say I just live for coming up with super clever and creative ideas to generate leads or to grow a customer base with little money, leveraging state of the art technology. And don't even say I love doing this phrase it differently. Say you should be doing this. This is what you should be doing. You should have someone in your team that uses little money. But state of the art technology, coming up with super clever ways and creative ideas to test things, to figure out stuff, to eventually grow their business. Don't say that you love doing it. Say that they should be doing it. It's another great example here, the one about growth thinking. Now, for those people targeting a business school or any other top to your school, that is very hard to get into. And you feel like this is not for you because it's going. It's going to describe a problem that a company may have and not a school. Well, you can think again. This is actually very relevant for you. You only have to figure out what the problem is that a school is facing. But if school is also definitely facing some sort of problem depends on how you look at it . But what is the school's challenge, really, or what is the challenge of the hiring manager or the recruiter? If it's a school, they want to find a very cool combination of people that together will drive the charters aspirations and be eso equally ambitious and motivated that together they will actually help lift the school to a higher level. That's what they're looking for. So if you analyze that further, they are looking for diversity. They're looking for people that take initiative, which can be translated afterwards in extra. Purely, I'm gonna say that again, which can be translated afterwards into extract curricular activities and whatever that you could have been doing outside of school. But essentially, it's this they want to find cool people that are up for networking that are up for, uh, you know, uh, founding new groups on campus that are up for joining the athletics team and winning a lot of medals that are up for getting the best grades. So if you can just phrase the problem like this and say, a student in business school should be able to combine both good grades and joining events , setting up new campus groups and doing sports at the same time, then you're doing the same thing. And then in the third paragraph, you can use an example of how you are in fact, the solution to their problem. My whole point is that even though you are targeting a school, you can use the same approach. You can describe a problem in the second paragraph. Only the problem Well, in this case, be more of a channel a challenge. Sorry that the school is facing. And the challenge is finding that diverse set off people to actually fill their campus with , but you can use the same trick. 7. Chapter 5 - Paragraph 3: Hi, This is Chapter five now in the previous chapter. What we've done is we've described the problem that a company or a school, maybe having we have literally thrown it in your face a set of statements about what they're facing, what their general objectives are, but also what they're doing on a day to day basis. Um, and you have basically phrased that as a problem. So in this chapter, it's super important that you step forward as the solution to that problem. The one person that actually loves the problem that they have such that they first sends an urgency. But then this is a big relief because luckily, the problem is also here, and it's in the same letter. So that's really the psychology behind it. We've been testing this method in over 100 cover letters, and we've been seeing amazing results. So, um, here we go how to present yourself as the solution to a problem that you have actually described. Well, there is actually two ways you could either just give them a good example off what it is that you've been doing before, so you can actually use your experience as prove off your capabilities and competence is related to the problem that you've described. But you could also use as a second option 1/3 party validation or a next colonel authority that will actually say it for you such that they will have to believe you eso If, for instance, you have done another internship where someone said something about you that actually proves that you have all these capabilities that matched the problem off the second paragraph, then it would be good to use this authority, especially if it's unknown company or if it was a very high level manager, for instance, that really works. So two options. Either it's an anecdote or a story about your past experience showing your competences, or it's that third party validation or that external authority. Let's first have a look at the template or the cover letter that were building up to get her, Um, just to give you one clue. I'm not saying that this is the best way to go about it, but it's definitely a very good one. And if you would just adapt the wording and the sentences in this actual paragraph, you make it match your second paragraph, which is the most important thing, then you will definitely be on the right track. So let's have a look at what this guy did, he says. During my current internship, which is very good because he's he's definitely going for an anecdote. He's definitely gonna tell them what he's been doing now. Eso I'm guessing that whatever he's gonna be saying next is going to be extremely relevant to the problem that he's just describe, Um, So during my current internship, I'm developing a scaled acceleration program in close collaboration with the marketing team . Um, I guess the necessary cooperation between marketing and sales, which you saw in the second paragraph, is now being resolved by saying that he's already doing a lot of collaboration with the marketing team in his current role s. Oh, that's good. Um, then he's saying that he's also interacting with other teams and he legs discussing several topics such as different types of campaigns measuring campaign impact and talking about the key functionalities off CRM tools. So I guess what he's doing here is, um, saying that he knows how to tailor um, the platform solutions to the actual company needs is saying that because he knows about the different solutions. But he's also saying that he works to get over the other teams, and he knows about CRM, um, or customer relationship management tools. So in this case, I guess this means that he knows how to find the balance between High Touch company focused but also scale B two b acquisition efforts. He's really proving it. It could be even more literal in this sense, but he's really making the connection with the second paragraph. So that's really good. Um, yeah, So what else does he say? He also says that he had the chance to address over 600 graduates with keynotes on a specific topic. But so what he's really addressing here is that you need perfect communication skills by by saying that you've been presenting for so many students. I guess it's actually super clear that you do have thes necessary communication skills. So again he's solving a problem that actually he created in the second paragraph. So that's really cool. Um, he also says, discussing campaign reports and crunching numbers, presenting results and perfecting presentations as one of the problems. And again, he mentions the communications But whenever asked to perform data analysis is very happy to take on the assignment. So he really says that both of the key skills that are required he definitely has them. And he not only says that he has the skills, but he can also prove it based on an anecdote. So, yeah, I would say it's a great interaction between this second paragraph in the third paragraph. What I would suggest in this case is that the first problem or the first challenge that you mentioned should also be the first thing you resolve. So you should basically respect the order. If you say this is the challenge than in the third paragraph, it should say this is how I resolve the challenge. And if this is the key capabilities that you need and this is why I have those key capabilities. But if you respect the order, I think it would be even more clear for the hiring manager why you are the perfect fit for that role. Um, here is another piece of advice. In fact, if you are gonna be using an anecdote, then one other thing that you could do is use the star method, and I don't know if you're aware. But there is actually a method that was designed around this idea that if you can look into someone's past experience, you can be sure that that is good proof for their capabilities and their future performance . This is an interview technique that's being used by a lot of big companies like Amazon. For instance. They really just ask you to give examples of situations where, for instance, you have presented great leadership skills. And they're asking you about this past experience just to be sure that you will have these competences and these capabilities in the future as well. And if you're answering one of these questions, which is basically what you're doing in the third paragraph, you could use the star method and the star method goes like this. The S stands for situation, so you want to actually present situation. So this was the context. The situation was as follows. I was doing an internship in a real estate firm, for instance, and that was the situation. Then the T in star S t A. R stands for the task or thea assignment, So it's really the task that was given to you. So you could say I was asked to make a dynamic spreadsheet to track the sales. For instance, that was the task, and then the A stands for actions. So then you really list the actions that you've taken to make sure that you would perform well on the task or the assignment that was asked of you. And then they are in S T A. R stands for the results. So if you can actually structure your third paragraph like this where you say this was the situation, then I got this specific task. This are the three actions that I took and these were the results. If you can structure it this way, then you have also plug the star method into your motivation letter. And I think it would be even better than the example that we're looking at. So that's really one thing you could do for the third paragraph. Use the star method as a way of structuring your solution to the problem that you've described in the second paragraph. I know that it's getting quite complicated here, but if you do this right, then you're really nailing it now. Before we end this chapter. I just want to also tell you how you could use 1/3 party validation or how you can actually use an external authority example to prove that you are the solution to the problem, that you've actually the problem, that you've actually presented to them in the second paragraph. So if you want to be using someone else's authority, it could sound something like like this. My previous manager told me he was most comfortable when I would do the presentations, and I agree. I do like presenting. But in that one month where we had to code and develop an integrated information system to track whatever, I also realized that I really like quantitative work and coding. For instance, if you can come up with a story like this that is also really saying something about the opinion that someone important had about you, then that's a great way to use third party validation. And it's also a great way to actually structure your third paragraph as long as you make sure and promise me this. As long as you make sure that your third paragraph is actually an answer to your second paragraph then you have two options to structure it. It's either gonna be an anecdote and then please use the star S t a r method situation, task actions, results. Or you're gonna be using 1/3 party validation or an external authority just your second option. And in this case, make sure that you're using the opinion off someone that is very important about you and your past work. Two great options to actually structure your third paragraph as long as it really corresponds to the second paragraph where you have presented them with a problem. So, yeah, that's it. That was it for the third paragraph. Um, I hope you took some notes, and I don't think it will take long for you to find your own story and plug it into the third paragraph. Uh, the best of look, we only have one paragraph left. So let's quickly move on to the next chapter where we will be going over paragraph four 8. Chapter 6 - Paragraph 4: Chapter six, we're gonna be telling you what to put in your fourth paragraph. The fourth paragraph is definitely gonna be the shortest one. There's two things you should be doing. Make sure that you prove to them that you will actually match their corporate culture. And the second thing is be sure to be remembered. They already think you're interesting, because otherwise they would not be reading your letter. But at this point, it doesn't hurt to make sure that after having read your specific motivation letter, there is another good reason to remember you on be a good way to actually do this is become personal again. Maybe you have and maybe Or maybe you have not addressed them in the beginning, like saying dear Mr Jacob or whatever. If you haven't, it would be a cool way to actually be more personal in the fourth paragraph if you address them directly again, and one way to do this on and I'll just show you this example right here is by saying this recruitment processes can be long and heavy. I hope things are working out the way you had hoped. Um, you're actually wishing them good luck you are addressing them personally and you're genuinely kind. And it's not even weird to say. It actually says that even if you don't pick me, I still hope that you find the best possible candidate for the role. So if you didn't do this in a very genuine way, then people will actually believe it. And it's a good way to be remembered. And it's a good way to be personal as well. So that's a good way to actually go about it. Um, let's have a look at the example that we have in the template cover letter that you have been reading for the 1st 3 paragraphs now. So this is what What? It was actually written the summer before I returned to business school. I would love to get challenged in and contribute to Spotify eyes, objectives and company culture. I would be happy to further my application by discussing the possibilities with you in person. Um, yeah. So what's good about this is that they mentioned the company culture. I would say if you're gonna be mentioning the company culture, given example as well, you can say something like this. Um, the company culture of Spotify is known to be very inclusive and very diverse because I've been traveling all my life. I think there is no better place for me to further develop my capabilities than a place where every culture comes to get her. This is just from the top of my head. But instead of saying you want to contribute to the company culture, maybe already give them a reason why or give them prove off. The fact that you'll be able to do so show them that you will fit their corporate culture, preferably by using an example off. Why you actually already I live and breathe their values. Plus, you showed that you know their values, which is always good. It means that you've done your research, captured their interest one more time. Make sure you're remembered how well you could do it by being personal and wishing them good luck or saying that they can always contact you at the end of the recruitment process , which is almost like a call to action, right? If you say you can almost always reach me on this number or on this email, address your in your addressing them personally, but also you're actually asking them to do something, which I guess is key in marketing. You are actually marketing yourself. But in this case, if you include a call to action, you have a lot of good reason to believe that they will actually do so. So, yeah, that was paragraph for It's the shortest paragraph. But now you know what has to be done. You've gotten some great examples. It was the last paragraph. So in the next chapter, I will be giving you a very specific technique that you can use to top it all off, which is the technique of keywords. And as an extra, I'll give you some cool strategies to actually deliver your application materials. Um, yeah, you're actually doing great and you're almost done. So see you in the next chapter. 9. Chapter 7 - Keywords and Strategies to Go Around the Formal Process: Hi, this is Chapter seven. It's the last chapter of this video course on writing the winning cover letter in the previous chapters what you've seen apart from that magic formula that we have created around making a cover letter, we've given it to you paragraph by paragraph and sentence by sentence. You've gotten some good examples. You have the templates, so you're actually able to write your own cover letter based off all that. There is actually one more thing that I need you to do, and that is after having written your cover letter or even during or before, try to make sure that you speak the right language. What I mean by this is that it's gonna be read by your letter is gonna be read by very important people that don't have a lot of time, and at the moment they're probably reading a lot of those letters. So if they want to recognize certain skills, capabilities, values or specific kinds of experiences that you've had, if they want to recognize those, you have to make sure that you're using their words if, for instance, they are looking for someone to do goading for them. But you say that you're a developer? I know that it means the same thing, But you're gonna be You're gonna want to use the word coding instead of developing just for the sake off. Making your cover letter Very easy to read. You need to use those exact words to make sure that they don't waste time in trying to figure out what you mean. Eso how to use the language of the company and how to use the language off the recruiter and hiring manager. Well, it's actually very simple. It's very straightforward. They give you a list off requirements and they always give you a list of the responsibilities that you will have on the role now in my head. And this is pretty much always the case, and we'll look at an example right after this is always gonna be about 10 bullet points. 10 bullet points about the experience and the requirements, but also 10 bullet points about the level of responsibility that you'll have and the tasks that you'll perform. So for each of these bullet points, I just want I want you to circle the words the words analysis, business development, customer relationship management, meetings, presentations, um, statements, invoices. I want you to circle those words. And I guess you're gonna end up with a list off 25 specific words that reflect capabilities or values. It's pretty much always like this. And then I want you to go back to your cover letter and then try to replace works with these words and really plug them in on the right places. I know it's probably more clever to come up with a synonym, but in this case I don't recommend it. I recommend you to use these exact words. So here is an example. This is an example off a job description, and here you can actually circle specific words. You end up with a list off these 20 something words that now you can actually plug in to your cover letter on the right places. Try to make sure to use about 10 to 15 of these keywords such that whenever a recruiter or a hiring manager starts to read your letter, everything looks super familiar. It will actually make them feel at ease, and it will take away some of the risk that they're feeling when they're hiring someone else. If you already use their language, so that's really what it's all about. It's the the technique of keywords, and it's just is important for your motivation letter, as it was for your CV Aziz. We saw in the other video, of course. So that's pretty much it for for the keywords. So I really hope you'll be doing this as well on Bright before we go out. And right before we ended this last chapter, I just want to give you some advice on how you can actually submit or send in your application materials. If you're already sending emails to the person that is gonna be hiring you, then make sure that the email that goes along with the attached application materials is just about as nice as everything else you've created. Put in just this much thought the personal. Be polite. I've tried to be a bit funny, tried to be special there as well you some of the techniques that you've been using for your cover letter in your actual email that you'll be writing. And then, of course, you'll have those files attached. Now, if you are sending in your cover letter and it's a huge company. There are actually some ways to bypass the formal process. The formal application process usually runs through databases, and somehow you always get the feeling that whenever you you submit your letters, you upload them to a specific platform. You have this aching feeling that they will not be read and they will get ignored. So what some people are doing, and I'm not saying that you should be doing this per se, but I do want you to know that there are people out there that are probably just this motivated as you are, and they're going about this in a very creative way. But they're probably sending a fruit basket with their motivation letter rolled up and just stuck in that basket. It's one of the things you hear now, or people putting their letter in a box or using an express service to actually send it to them directly to the hiring manager he has to sign when he receives it, so you can be sure he'll be reading it. And then there's even the guy that broke into a company to hide. He's application materials somewhere in the company, and then he made a whole trail off clues, and it was a whole puzzle to find his application materials. Now, of course, I'm definitely not recommending that you do this. I mean, use your head and only do what's appropriate. But I'm just telling you that if there is a way for you to go the extra mile, this is really the moment where you should do it, because there is a lot of people out there that want the same position. And just because you've put so much work into your cover letter and your CV, it will serve you well to also think about how you're going to deliver it. So that's, um, that's really a last piece of advice that I wanted to give you. So this was it for chapter number seven. Very happy that you that you were with me for all the chapters. I really hope that I have given you enough materials to go from. If there is anything you were missing, feel free to reach out to us. We also have a service where we write these letters and CVS for you. But I do recommend that you do it yourself based off the template that you now have and all the chapters that you've been. You've been watching until that. Thank you very much for being here. If there is anything else, feel free to reach out. And I hope to see you again in one of our other learning videos. Bye, guys.