Next Stop: Your Magazine Dream Job

From Ed’s Guest Blogger: The Cover Letter Trick That Got Me Hired

By Stephanie Osmanski

After two years at my first job in the industry, I was more than ready to try something new. Once I committed to exploring potential job openings though, I adopted a second full-time job: looking for one. I wrote cover letter after cover letter and signed up for every job opening e-mail notification imaginable. But even though I had become a B-O-S-S boss at churning out cover letters quickly and with impressive accuracy, I wasn’t getting much feedback. (By much feedback, I mean any.)

That is, until I stumbled across a job I genuinely wanted. I could envision myself in that office, managing and writing that content. So as I sat at my desk, fingers poised on the keyboard, ready to type out the same boring spiel that listed my experience and accolades in that monotonous albeit chronological order, I decided I had nothing to lose.

I went for it, cover letter style. I was one hundred percent me.

I drowned, dosed, suffocated my cover letter in personality. I let the editor get a taste of me through the sentences I crafted, instead of paraphrasing my already-attached resume. It dripped of everything I loved and consequently, I churned out a cover letter that reeked of passion, of someone who was not only qualified for the job, but who also genuinely ached for it.

“I thrive in a fast-paced environment,” I wrote. I continued to list all the reasons I was amazing and all the things I could do that qualified me for the job and then added, “all while downing my latte of choice: a Chai tea.”

I hit send. I briefly wondered if I had lost all of the marbles I potentially had left.

“You wrote WHAT?!” said my friend, who had a job on the marketing side of the entertainment industry.

When I read the cover letter aloud, she looked back at me, puzzled. She thought I was nuts for taking a chance and infusing so much personality in a cold-call email.

I looked at her and said, “I was tired. I was feeling enthusiastic about the job and I honestly have nothing to lose.”

I ended up getting called for an edit test, then an in-person interview, then a meeting with HR. And I eventually got the job!

Although I know it’s mainly my qualifications and expertise in the social media industry that got me hired, I still accredit my success procuring the position to that cover letter. It got me noticed. It helped my personality shine through an otherwise boring and information-filled email.

So go ahead, give it a try. Instead of jamming resume buzzwords into your cover letter, jam yourself in those few paragraphs. Show the editor who you are, why you’d fit into their environment, and why you can do that job better than anyone else.

Stephanie is a chai tea enthusiast with a special penchant for telling apart the Sprouse twins. She works as a freelance writer and digital strategist and blogs about all things lifestyle at StephOsmanski.com. Her words have been featured on Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, Seventeen, USA Today, Parents, and more. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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