You realize the importance of being a writer when all your friends keep asking you how to write a resumé and how to start a cover letter.
Mariangela made it to London to boost her career as an architect, Renato got a promotion within his own company and Chiara became a real Linkedin expert.
But before I give you the same advice I gave them, let me do a favor to all those students in constant search for financial support. Marcello, my dear jazz friend, this post is for you and all your fellow musicians who stare at their cover letter and don't know how to fix it without me.
Have you ever struggled to find the right words even when you knew exactly what to say? It's normal, so don't worry. Anxiety, deadlines, and competition can easily get you discouraged when it comes to obtaining a scholarship. I'm sure you deserve to be sponsored but... how to make it happen? Let's get started.
1. Highlight your strengths.
Make sure you state clearly why you deserve the grant. Remember to talk about yourself in a way that is appealing to the institution.
You should read about their mission and find out about their priorities. Mold your voice over your reader's one. This little trick will make all the difference and I am sure it will get your motivational letter started.
2. Don't be shy
Talk about your vision: what are your long-term plans and how do they match with the institution's guidelines? Never underestimate yourself: we all know you need the money but don't forget that you can offer a lot in return. State it clearly and make those institutes trust you in the long run. Remember you need to be appealing to your sponsors and not just grateful for their support.
3. Keep it personal
This is a general rule, but you really need to put your own words into this letter. I can help you as a coach, but you are the only person who will eventually know exactly what to say. AKA: keep it simple. Sponsors don't necessarily need to know all the details of your educational plan. They need to be inspired by your personality, clarity, and motivation, and these are exactly the features you want to give to your writing.
Now let's face the tricky part: how to write a cover letter for a job?
Here are some tip and tricks.
1. Do your homework.
Yes, you got it right: you need to do some fine research before writing your cover letter. First of all, you need to know who you are talking to. How start a cover letter? Easy: get on Linkedin and find out more about the company you are writing to, you may stumble on the talent recruiter and get the letter started by addressing it straight to her.
2. Hook them up
Old but gold: hook your readers up by ending your letter with a question. You could ask for some feedback on your portfolio (you don't have one yet? Don't get me started!) Face-to-face networking is also a useful strategy. You may feel uncomfortable at first but you'd be surprised to find out how far a coffee can take you.
3. LinkedIn delight
Time to go big on our favorite social media. New to the field? Don't worry, there's a lot for you to take in. Start by growing your network and connections on a regular base. Linkedin can provide you with some meaningful insight on your job search so use your time wisely on this platform in order to get the most out of it.
4. Build a digital presence
Resumées are soo last century. If you don't want to invest your time into a website, you can always get a portfolio to showcase your work. Most companies won't even consider you unless you have a digital presence, so keep that mind. A website can boost your career chances by a lot.
Last but not least, don't forget the number one advice to write a successful motivational letter: know your strengths and state them loud.