Cover Letters: You can quote me on this

Sick of writing the same old cover letter? “I saw your ad….” Yeah, you and 100,000 other people. So, how do you stand out from the crowd?

Try using some quotes that support the qualifications requested in the ad. They’re looking for a top-producing sales rep? Why, your last boss dubbed you “The Cold Call King.” Use it — and attribute it.

They need a PR whiz fully committed to nonprofit? Your coworkers call you “The PR Martyr.” Use it. And provide an example. “I’m committed to nonprofit. So committed, I once brought in a cot so we could make the media deadline — and get the press coverage we needed. Ever since then, my coworkers call me, ‘The PR Martyr.’ I can make this same commitment to your organization.” What’s your brand? Name it. Market it.

Ten Rules for Building Your Brand Bio

by William Arruda

When creating your career marketing tools, start with your brand bio. It will be a reference for all your other communications. Here are the ten rules for building a compelling brand bio:

1.   Know your brand. You can’t brand your bio until you have a clear understanding of your brand – your unique promise of value. Do you know what makes you differentiated and interesting?

2.   Make it unique. Your bio should be written such that it could only be used by you. That means choosing not only the words, but the style and emotions your bio conveys.

3.   Mix it up. Ensure the right mix of credentials, personality and interesting facts about you. You don’t have to put every detail in your bio.

4.   Seek support. You are expert in what you do, find an expert writer to ensure your bio exudes your brand and wows your target audience.

5.   Let your hair down. You have more flexibility to let your personality shine through your bio. Don’t be too rigid or too factual. Use this opportunity to become attractive to hiring managers, executive recruiters, etc.

6.   Compare it. Read the bios of your colleagues. What makes yours stand out? Could any of them put their names on the top of your bio?

7.   Be consistent. Ensure harmony with your other communications tools. Don’t look at your bio separate from your resume, cover letters, personal web site, blog, etc. All of your personal brand communications must work together to paint a relevant and compelling portrait.

8.   Test it out. The best way to learn what people think about your bio is to ask them. Get input from people who matter and refine your bio if necessary.

9.   Keep it current. As you progress in your career, you have new and exciting input for your bio. Don’t be selling yesterday’s news.

10. Spread the word. Create versions that differ in length and use your bio everywhere – on your personal web site or blog, in your e-network profile (LinkedIn, Ecademy, etc) at the end of articles and white papers you write, etc.

What’s your brand status? Take the quiz: