Why a Pain Letter Is the New Cover Letter—Even Better Than a Résumé

Sacha Strebe

Are you applying for work right now? Then you know how chaotic job hunting can be—it’s certainly no walk in the park, and there’s a lot of competition out there. So how do you stand out from the crowd? You could formulate a well-written résumé and cover letter and disappear into the black hole with everybody else, or you could put together a pain letter instead. According to Forbes, all that time you spend on an application will only be put through keyword-sorting software, which “sucks all the human life out of your application or résumé.”

So what exactly is a pain letter anyway? It’s similar to a cover letter, but it’s written specifically for the hiring manager, and “it packs a lot of punch.” It's called a pain letter because in it “you’re going to talk about your hiring manager’s biggest problem” and relate to it with you own personal experience, or what Forbes terms a “dragon-slaying story.” It’s all about putting yourself in the organizations shoes. Have a think about what it’s up against and offer solutions to the problem. In a sea of applications, this kind of initiative and invested interest in the company, with a willingness to solve its “pain,” will inspire any hiring manager to dial your number and chat further—pain letter users have said they “result in callbacks about twenty-five percent of the time.” So if you’re keen to get started, just remember that short and to the point is best—here’s how to write a pain letter.

To read more of this article, visit Forbes.

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Have you ever written a pain letter? Did it get you the job or a callback? Would you consider ditching the cover letter for a pain letter? Let us know in the comments.

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