When you prepare your cover letter for the dream job, understand that this is the time for you to shine.
When you write a cover letter, you must weave together things that demonstrate your personality, qualifications, work experience, and accomplishments.
- You are a great fit for them.
- You can have great success with them.
- You will be able to add value and contribute to company goals from day one.
Where your résumé is very direct and dry, your cover letter is where you show that you are really a very popular candidate. In this example, you are painting yourself as an absolute top candidate. That is what you did in this example:
If you’re looking to upskill your cover letter game, or even reorient your relationship to writing them, check out our previous post on The 9 Essential Elements of a Cover Letter + Templates, Examples, and Tips, where we go in-depth on what goes where (+ why) within a cover letter. Every single one of these formatting and content elements is described in detail.
If you’ve already short-listed some of your dream job opportunities, but you haven’t considered this in a while, and you haven’t gone through the ins and outs of what makes a good cover letter, you should open that post in a new tab and use
So, you must deal with achievable goals.
For those of you who are not yet re-learning how to write a cover letter in a minute or if you are constantly starting from scratch, I have one question for you:
How is that going?
We will put a pause on the dream job nomenclature for a sec. Consider how many letters and interviews you’ve written for every job that you applied for. You should think about this because it was a wonderful opportunity for you, or simply because it was something that you were interested in.
If you’ve applied to many positions using the same old cover letter you’ve been repurposing since college, and aren’t seeing traction, that’s your cue to switch it up. You should not only change the company name in the cover letter. That is OK, but more on that later.
If you’re starting from scratch with every letter, then my guess is that you’re applying to fewer opportunities. When applying for different jobs, you have a higher chance to land the one you’re excited about, so that is doubly important for the roles that you’re excited about.
It is possible to get started, whether you can communicate it or not. So, job seekers who start from scratch tend to submit fewer applications overall. Like with most tasks, the more you work at it, the better and more efficient you become at that specific thing, so please: find a better system than starting with a blank page every time!
So, it is time to pause the dream job ideacue the unicorns.
If you are not happy with how your job search is going, or if you have just started, and you are afraid of the 3-6 month search period, then you need to shift your perspective. Set a goal of how many jobs you want to apply for each week. Make sure that they are achievable.
There are x number of applications. And then there are cover letters. So, decide on the top two opportunities that you are most excited about. Then, decide on the dream roles. Make it non-negotiable that you get those application packages in and that you’re proud of them.
What is meant by a dream job?
If you dream about a job that is in your preferred company, that company that provides a product that you already enjoy, that team that is innovative, and that team that is mentoring someone whom you already admire.
What is important is that you should be excited about the opportunity in its entirety, or about at least one aspect of it. Do not lose that excitement and begin to work on that cover letter. Instead, become curious and confident about things like:
- What a great job you could do for our company by being in this role.
- It is possible that the positive impact that your cooperation with that organization, and the values and goals that they have, will have on the world.
- How much will you grow and become better in that kind of supportive team environment?
- What can I learn from a thought-leader whom I respect?
If you are not excited about it, it may not be on your list of dream jobs. Before you begin your application process, select the positions that make you feel warm and fuzzy when you envision getting that offer letter. You’ll find that prioritizing those positions will give you momentum, because you will feel positive about the opportunity. As a result, you can apply for other positions less dauntingly.
You may even be able to bring some innovative ideas from those dream positions to other, less exciting open positions for which you are well-suited.
Jump-start your writing game by using cover letter templates.
That’s for those who are trying to get out of a bad habit, for those who are able to ditch the old cookie-cutter draft, and for those who are attempting to start from scratch. So you might try some of our free cover letter templates for a spin.
Our templates above describe what info goes where, plus the ‘why’ behind it, as it relates to our discussion in the previous blog post: The 9 Essential Elements of a Cover Letter + Templates, Examples, and Tips.
How can I use cover letter templates?
Review the templates and select the one you like best. Once you have that doc opened, go to your files, and click ‘make a copy’.
That will allow you to clone the template and add your own notes to each section. Keep adding those notes in there until you are satisfied with your draft of each section. Watch how quickly you draft a cover letter, when you have this cheat sheet to help you. It contains the best cover letter format and content structure, which you can quickly and easily put in your toolkit.
There are not all cover letter templates that are equal.
Young Padawan, it is important to note that not all cover letter templates are created equal.
We really, really, really mean this, and not because we made three stellar templates, linked above.
On the internet, templates have always been a bad rap because so many of them are utter garbage. There are things like dull formatting that is impersonal at best and ineffective at worst, weird and seemingly useless language that is strange but that’s meaningless, and/or there is just no rhyme or reason for what information should go where.
These job seekers would use a terrible template to put in the pieces of information that the template said to change, and then wonder why they weren’t getting any traction in their search. So, if the goal of your cover letter is to showcase why you and your experience make you the ideal candidate for what you consider to be a dream job,.
- How can you tell this to your readers in a meaningful way if the majority of the letter’s text doesn’t change from one opportunity to another?
- There is no way that just changing the name of the position or changing the company info will allow you to do anything other than copy and paste.
Here’s an example of one of those bad cover letter templates that you should not use.
Poor Sam, Jr. is not getting anywhere with this horrible bleakness, primarily because someone is putting out this ‘cover letter copypasta’ masquerading as a real effort.
Anyone who is reading this will notice that it is very bland and generic. There is no personality, pizzazz, or anything else that indicates that the applicant is someone we should know or that they care about this position.
It is possible that even if you add more details to some sections, the boilerplate text, the stuff that you never change, doesn’t really tell us anything. That is the message that explains the vast majority of this letter. And yet, we are still unsure that this is the message indicating that this cover letter is about a daycare job or a sales position.
Sadly, it seems that such kinds of templates were the norm for a long time in that job-seeking jungle. Compare it to our Template 1:
Yeah. You see what we are referring to, right? The whole package, from the format to the structure of what should be talked about and when, gives this template a very professional and polished vibe.
After you have written a few letters, you may find that you have some catch phrases that describe your particular skill set or qualifications well, or that show off your personality and flair for working in a certain industry or job type. That does not mean that things will happen easily or quickly, but they do happen over time and with practice.
After you get them all gathered in one place, save them in the template and then use them when appropriate. There is no harm in that. It is not the boilerplate text in templates that is the enemy, it is the useless text, period. There is just not enough room to add anything irrelevant or vague, especially if you are trying to win a dream job.
The bottom line here is that no one can give you boilerplate text for a cover letter that is going to be meaningful and specific to you and the opportunities you are trying for. And a cover letter needs to have these elements to get that first buzz of attention and interview momentum that will carry you to getting the offer letter and closing the deal for your dream job.
Annotated templates that have been annotated.
Are you looking for more ways to speed-up your writing workflow for cover letters? Try to make some annotated templates.
What is annotated template? It is a template in which you preload information that is relevant to a certain type of job or field. By doing this, you can draft the documents faster and with more intention. These documents will especially help you if you are applying for very different kinds of opportunities, or if you are applying to work in very different fields.
For example, if you’re a scientist applying for a research position at a national lab but are also interested in applying for industry jobs, where your expertise could be applied to real-world products and services, then you will need two very different types of cover letters.
Since the organizations that you are applying for have very different goals, the duties and responsibilities of the respective positions will reflect this. It is necessary to determine how you are going to explain your education, your qualifications, and your experience in specific ways for each occasion.
So, if you are offered a lab position, you may choose to draw upon your higher education and research experience to prove that you can seamlessly integrate into a group that already exists.
In order to make this annotated template.
- Read the job announcement a few times.
- Identify the most important duties, expertise or skill sets that you will need for that role.
- Open your CV, and put in the correct format all the relevant information for your position on our template.
When we make our template doc, we usually include the résumé info in the Body Paragraphs section. If you want to, you can also add it at the end of the template doc.
No need to have extra tabs open, or find where you filed your résumé, or deal with any of the other things that could slow down your process of writing a cover letter right now.
There are industries, and your hiring manager probably cares less about the specific educational and research-related items that your lab will prioritize. People from that industry might be interested in hearing what programs and skill sets you have, and how you have applied your research to real-world problems. And, how proficient are you at explaining your work? And, how well you connect your big-picture research experience to your product or service.
It is possible to add to your résumé the few chuckleworthy, witty, fun, or otherwise-perfect tidbits that you’ve honed after writing some biography of yourself.
This time, only add the ones that are relevant to the different categories of annotated templates. It is important to have cover letters that are well written. Even the best witty anecdotes won’t work for every cover letter. Leave it out if the quip is relevant to the field or job that you’re applying for, and regardless of how brilliant your argument is. Sometimes it is appropriate to include something and not have it cut because of issues with flow or length.
That is one of the biggest roadblocks to becoming successful in job hunting.
Unfortunately, a very common mistake that job seekers make is procrastinating on writing the cover letter because of the gravity of the situation. It’s your dream job after all, so you want it to be amazing━not just good.
That is a trap. Do not fall for it. You are interested in that job because you have some reason for it. Something about this place or that company or that team, puts you in a position to be there, moving the needle for them to hit their goals, and crushing your goals. Be sure to make this happen.
Be sure to clearly demonstrate that you are the answer to their problem(s).
If your resume is like a sheet of music, your cover letter is your finished work of music. It contains all of the notes that are played correctly, and also the harmony between the musicians, the conductor, and the singers/performers. When you are creating this, allow it to be inspiring for you and for you to read it. That is, not because it’s your dream job, so you can’t help but feel excited.
Know that you are the solution to their problem━they need this role filled on their team to reach their goals! So, do not nag over it. Make sure that you are able to express yourself and what you have accomplished. And promise yourself that you are not going to try to force anything into the draft. Use a paraphraser to support you in finding language that resonates.
Beyond that, trying to “give exactly what they want” will cause the next big dream to sink during that process, because it produces a robotic, disingenuous writing style that is more fear-based than anything else.
It is a given that you want or need a new job, so focusing on that doesn’t usually serve you well, especially when you want to write something inspired. So, rethink this opportunity. Allow writing a cover letter to become more creative than simply writing. Imagine yourself working every day in that role. Imagine doing the work, working with your team, and answering questions or issues.
It may sound silly, but many people find that this practice grounds them when they are excited about an important opportunity, but they soon become stressed. That will give you the confidence that you are looking for and will also prompt you to think about some ideas for your cover letter.
It can also help you break out of being stuck on imposter syndrome━doubt that, despite you being completely qualified, you’re actually a fraud who has just gotten lucky up to this point and might get ‘found out’ during the application process. In your mind, rest in all of the time, effort, schooling, and work that you have put into becoming this person.
How do you break through the roadblocks and write your dream cover letter?
If you procrastinate, get bogged down by imposter syndrome, or even just go blank with writer’s block, articulate it as fast as possible. In the linked series, I will share many handy tips and solutions for overcoming common writing roadblocks.
You are able to make blocks that will last for days, months, or years. So, you should submit your application as close to the date of the announcement as you can. You do not have time to waste. When there is a deadline, if you are not planning to get unblocked, you are setting yourself up to become stressed to the max and to deliver a sub-par application package.
You know what to write in your cover letter, and you know that our handy templates are also handy. You may even have created annotated templates for each field or type of position that you are applying to.
If you have a list of things that you are preparing to apply for, scan through them to find opportunities that might be your dream job. Then, start working on the process. Use a template or annotated template, and tell them where and why every thing on the cover letter should go, and start drafting the cover letter for your dream job. Show them that you are the one who can solve their problems. Show them that working for them is the best situation for you, because xyz is the perfect business opportunity.
What do I do when I am stuck or when I am writing a cover letter that has a lot of important information?
If you just can’t seem to make progress, or if you are still struggling with roadblocks, then you should try something different. Try out the steps below, which are geared toward helping you get unblocked and help you find momentum in the cover letter writing game.
How to get out of a jam and keep moving when you write an important cover letter?
1. Then, try to visualize yourself in that role or meditate on why this is your dream job. So, be excited and confident as you see yourself solving your problems, achieving milestones, and working with your team.
2. You should go back to the old bare-bones template. Reread it again with fresh eyes, in order to understand what all the different parts are supposed to convey.
3. Re-read the description of your dream job carefully and slowly. What you should do is to paste this document into a document, so that you can highlight certain parts of it, so that you can cite company information that resonates with you (e.g., their values, mission, or commitment to a certain initiative), and note areas in which some of your specific skills would be directly transferable.
GOLD MINE: Is there a duty, responsibility, or goal associated with the position that you could accomplish in a creative or innovative way? Is there another easy win that you can see that would help the needle move forward that is both in accordance with the goals of the position or company and achievable within the scope of the role? Is there an innovative solution that you could give to the KPIS to increase its efficiency and positively affect it?
4. Review the information that is on your resume, side by side, along with the announcement. You must not continue to write a letter that lists all of your experience and qualifications. It is a skill that you can learn by selecting the best elements from your résumé to highlight in your letter. Identify them and make notes.
Look over all of the notes and ideas that you have learned from the job description, too, in order to make more connections. Then decide how to group your skills and experiences in a way that is clear. Then communicate the unique qualities that you have that make you uniquely qualified for this position.
If you don’t already have a template that is annotated, this process will help you create one.
5. Then draft it. You have picked out the ideas and the important information that you will use in your letter. Now it is time to put those thoughts on the page. When you are feeling anxious, begin by filling in some of the easy pieces, like contact information. You should finish drafting the letter and then you can get started on the actual letter content.
6. Find the perfect language to articulate yourself, your enthusiasm, and your accomplishments using a tool like QuillBot’s free online paraphraser. It enables you to visually refine an unkempt sentence by looking at different word and phrase options, and you can receive feedback on different sentence structures, styles, tones, and much more.
Een parafraserend hulpmiddel is a hulpmiddel that you can use to help people find what they are looking for, on the type of basis that you want it. You can use this to help you find out what you want it to be, and you can use it to help you find out what you need if you are using your own ontwerp.
7. Get feedback from others, if time allows. I’ll lisiere cv naar een mentor in order that he can be mentor to him. I will lisiere de begeleidende brief en het cv naar een mentor. Brief them verbally about the job that you are applying for and why. Then ask them for candid and constructive feedback about your ideas, connections, and enthusiasm. Ask whether they can see that your ideas are clear, compelling, and genuine.
Instant text summary tools, like QuillBot’s summarizer, can also give feedback on the clarity of your draft, if you input the letter contents and summarize them. When you are reviewing what Quillbot thinks are the most important points, you might find a sentence or paragraph whose meaning is missing somehow. In that case, you should make edits to that paragraph in order to address that.
8. Make a final check. When you are proud of the letter that you wrote, and before you submit your application, take a last minute to re-read it aloud in its entirety, to check for any remaining grammatical errors. If you are tired or pressed for time, free online tools, like QuillBot’s grammar checker, can review your work to ensure that it is flawless before submission.
Final three tips on how to write a winning dream job cover letter.
You know that you are competing with other extremely qualified candidates for any job that you apply for, but that doesn’t really matter. You are the one who experiences them, and how you share and communicate them is unique to you and only you.
There is no one who has the same combination of interests, dreams, career goals, and qualifications that you do. You can benefit from them by utilizing the power of words. You can define yourself as what you want and need in order to succeed. You can also define yourself as having personality and confidence. So you should write clearly and passionately for both your career so far and the future opportunities, and that will be more than just standing out. You will shine like a star.
You deserve your dream job━and the cover letter is your first chance to convince your future employer of it. Do not allow it to be your last.