Whenever people try to impress one another, they do so in the strangest of ways. Some people dress funny, and others try to drop serious pop culture knowledge. However, how does this work when A: the meeting isn’t face-to-face and B: when there’s a job on the line? Of course, flattery is the best way to anyone’s heart, but does it work for the job market too? In a Forbes article titled Bad Pick-Up Lines: They Don’t Work in Bars, They Don’t Work In Cover Letters, The Daily Muse tries her hardest to parallel the art of pick-up lines with the art of pa proper cover letter.
Though it sounds rather awkward in short, it’s actually a great comparison. She throws us into a scenario by rhetorically asking why bad pickup lines are bad, and draws two conclusions:
- They’re “So over-the-to- cheesy, they invoked an immediate grimace or slap.”
- They’re “So boring and overused, they were barely noticed by anyone within earshot.”
In short, it’s clear that the point of this article is not to say “hey, don’t hit on your potential boss” but, in short, to present something vibrant and unusual that can catch their attention right away without digging really deep into it. First impressions are important, and in a tight job market this matters even more. What follows is the following advice:
“Construct a conversational, memorable, and directly relevant cover letter, add a strong and conversational lead, and then send it to an actual contact within your targeted organization—and you’ve just set yourself miles ahead of the pack. Remember, most of your competition is creating cover letters with loser lead-ins that make reviewers cringe, snooze, or (in extreme cases) want to slap them.”
This, of course, should be a given. However, some people aren’t really comfortable with writing or presentation and feel that a cut-and-paste letter is acceptable. It really isn’t when you think about it because, in the grand scheme of things, you aren’t the only one without motivation in this market. My family, being a victim of the recession, stands as an example of this. My mother tried so hard to impress different employers that, eventually she got tired of it and decided to do the generic cover letter. This, of course, got her nowhere and resulted in an agonizing struggle to get a job that lasted for about two years.
Eventually, she tried being creative again, and it paid off in her favor. In fact, the employer even complimented her on the originality behind her letter and added how he was “tired of reading the generic nonsense.”
It’s clear that there are many ways to get a job, and to win over a person you don’t know. Time and time again, it’s obvious that this is best achieved through a first impression that isn’t only cool, but memorable.