How To: Write a Cover Letter that Rocks

We're hiring

That makes us really, really excited. 

But what excites us less, though, is when I receive a barrage of boring cover letters. If you haven't guessed, we love a smart, spunky cover letter. It makes us excited to open your resume. 

Why send a cover letter?

1) You lack experience.

Maybe you're a perfect fit for the culture at Matchstick Social. Maybe you're looking for a career shift. Maybe you've been told by your Guru/psychic that you'd be perfect for a career in marketing. The trouble is that you've been hiding your social talent in sales, restaurants or data engineering. Whatever it is, a cover letter can help you put ahead of those who have experience. By showcasing your personality, we will be able to see what you bring to the table besides just your professional skill set(s).

2) You're a great writer.

Resumes aren't the most creative format. They only exhibit the nitty-gritty of your duties and responsibilities. It helps us sift through the under- and over-qualified really quickly. But they don't allow for flowery language, beautiful adjectives or complex syntax. They don't have a rhythm. They don't make us feel like we're talking to a person. That's why you write a cover letter, silly.

3) You're funny.

Humor is the way to our hearts. In fact, it's the way to most people's hearts. Your resume is unfunny by design, so your cover letter is a great way to show off your storytelling skills.

So how do you make a cover letter that gets you an interview?

Start with a fun greeting.

"To Whom it May Concern" or "Dear Hiring Manager" is such a bore. Address it to a person or persons at the company.

Tell us something interesting/memorable about yourself.

"I bet you're wondering why a Financial Analyst is applying for Content Strategist." Why, yes. Yes, I am!

"Is there anything better than opening your Instagram on a Monday morning and seeing 4 DMs? Methinks not." Totes. We feel you.

"I once jumped 40 feet off of a building to get a new client." Um, you cray. And also, tell us more.

These are all examples of something that would make us say, Yeah, we have to meet this person.

Don't list your accomplishments.

Your resume literally does this for you. The cover letter is a chance to show me what I don't see on the resume. It should be complementary to your CV, not a copy.

Show, don't tell.

Anyone can say they're punctual, creative, educated, organized and well-suited for the position. Exhibit what you can with your writing. 

"In school/my current job/my previous positions, I lead workshops about XYZ."

"In my XYZ organization, I was responsible for scheduling XYZ."

"I love social media/marketing/writing/creative writing/PR and communications because it opens up the opportunity to…"

The thesaurus isn't always your friend.

Elevated language isn't impressive unless you're using it naturally. Cut the superfluous adjectives or verbs and speak plainly. Marketing is about communicating ideas in a fun way, often incorporating colloquialisms, and eliminating confusion about products and services. 

Stay authentic.

As always, stay authentic in all of your communications. Resumes tell us what you have done, but cover letters can tell us what you plan to do, what you're interested in, as well as fill us in on any gaps we may notice. 

Watch your grammar.

For Matchstick specifically, we're looking for strong writers. Typos, misspellings and grammar mistakes are a big no-no. We all make mistakes, but your first impression should be damn near perfect. When it's not, we assume you don't care much about your application. 

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Matchstick Social is a social marketing + advertising firm headquartered in Charleston, SC with a satellite office in Oklahoma City, OK. Matchstick specializes in social media marketing, optimized social advertising, effective measurement of social initiatives and helping start-ups gain social currency by establishing their digital brands.