The term “positive language” is rarely used in the business world. Although we know in the back of our head that you need to be well-mannered and polite, this is often overlooked. We almost never work on our language, whether it’s written or used in direct communication. However, positive language can yield amazing results, especially when applying for a job.
In this article, we will cover some of the main reasons why you should improve your business language and how to do it. Read on!
Importance of a proper language in cover letters
If you are a young person with limited work experience, you probably don’t realize that cover letters can be even more impactful than resumes.
Basically, they allow us to say much more, to introduce ourselves properly and to sell our skillset. While resumes provide a quick breakdown of our skills and experience, cover letters are used to persuade an employer to give us a chance. They allow us to create a direct channel of communication.
People oftentimes neglect covering letters; they see it more as a nuisance. If you’re applying for lots of different jobs, such a document may even become a hindrance as you try to send as many applications as possible at once. Some people even avoid sending them.
This is a wrong approach!
Cover letters actually increase the odds of you landing a job. So, instead of applying for numerous jobs, why don’t you try and make your applications stand out with great cover letters.
Here are some of the things you can accomplish with them:
- Introduce yourself properly
- Give insights into your persona
- Create a connection with your future employer prior to the interview
- Place focus on skills, education, and experience that might be important
- Sell your upsides while downplaying your flaws
As the name implies, cover letter is a letter of sorts; it has a personal stamp. You can say much more with it as it gives you more freedom.
However, all of that is impossible if you don’t have proper control of language. Let’s see how positive language can help you create better cover letters and where you need to place focus!
The audience is the first thing you need to consider when creating cover letters.
- Who will read the document?
- What kind of a person is he or she?
- What are the company’s values?
When considering your audience, you have to consider both the individual (or individuals) reading the letter and the company as a whole. These two are not separate as top managers are often those who are most supportive of the company’s culture and goals.
In that regard, you have to put yourself in the shoes of a person with the same (or at least similar) values and goals. It is much easier to get a job if you evoke compassion in a person reading the letter.
You should also use the voice that a company uses. For example, if you’re applying for a laid-back position or a position with less responsibility, there is no need to be too official. Same goes for relaxed, modern companies. On the other hand, people working in the medical field, engineering, finances have to have a much more disciplined and serious approach.
Candidates oftentimes tend to be inclusive while writing cover letters. They try to create documents that can speak to everybody. This is a mistake.
When introducing yourself, it is very important to leave an impression of professionalism and experience. Don’t be shy and use technical expressions. This can only benefit you as recruiters can see that they’re dealing with an individual who is comfortable enough using professional expressions.
Of course, the main reason why recruiters would read your cover letter is that they want to get more information about you. They will always focus on your experience, skill set and how you can be valuable to the company. Your persona, while it will be considered, plays a small part of the whole equation.
But don’t think that limits your options. In fact, you are the one that has to leave a personal mark on the document and become likable.
Most experts will tell you that cover letter needs to be focused on your accomplishments and skills. But this isn’t its main strength. The main benefit of writing a letter is to present your character in the best way possible.
Now, you don’t have to write a novel, but the letter has to have a personal touch. Whoever reads it, has to have a positive impression about you, even though you’ve never met. With positive language and enthusiasm, you have to create an impression that you’re the best option for the company.
With that being said, we have to mention the tricky part. Stay with us!
One of the most common mistakes you can make is using too much I’s.
Companies are always looking for team players. If you’re able to work within an organization, you will be a welcome addition. Although individualism and independence is supported, there is a fine line between having a character and being arrogant.
Using too much personal pronoun “I” leaves the impression that you’re too arrogant, self-centered and harder to integrate as a part of the team. Usually, this isn’t the case; it is just the way people are writing letters and other documents. Still, it does leave a bad impression on a reader.
So, whenever you can, try avoiding this expression and form sentences in some other way.
Focus on active voice
When writing any type of copy or a document, you can either focus on passive or active voice. While most people are not using passive voice as it is, there are those who are. If you’re one of them, make sure to stop it and fix this mistake.
Basically, when using the passive voice, everything gets more static. It explains a state of existence; things that are as they are. On the other hand, active voice indicates movement and action. Needless to say, active voice perceived as a positive language and leaves an impression that you’re a person of action.
Recruiters will notice this and will attribute it to your persona.
Assertive language is often seen as a positive language.
When writing cover letters, people are often timid. They don’t wish to be too intrusive or aggressive. This can be seen throughout the copy, based on phrasing such as “would”, “could”, or “should”. All of these phrases are ambiguous and don’t provide any certainty to the reader.
Although you might think that this is positive, it does ring-hollow. Recruiters don’t want to hire a person who might help them; they want people who will help them. Try to be assertive throughout the copy and give guarantees. Even if it’s subtle, it will stick in readers’ mind and leave the impression that you’re the right candidate for the job.
Put emphasis on goals
There is a good reason why all HR managers love the question: “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Their main goal is to make a profile of the person and conclude whether or not this employee can progress and assist the company in the future. In fact, most companies are trying to find people who are willing to do more than they were asked.
Because of that, you have to place emphasis on your long term goals; you need to show ambition, positivity and initiative. If you’re only talking about past accomplishments, the reader can easily conclude that the best days of your career are long over and that you cannot add anything fresh to their company.
Be positive throughout the cover letter and make sure to talk about the bright future. Talk about your plans and how you intend to accomplish them with this company.
Finish with proofreading
Now, even if you created a great cover letter, you have to check it once again.
Proofreading is the last step of the process where you make sure that your document is flawless. Although you have to focus on grammar, you also shouldn’t neglect the positive language and the way sentences are phrased.
Use all the tips and tricks mentioned in this piece and try to implement them as well as possible. Lastly, read your whole cover letter out loud and see what kind of an impression it leaves on you.