The cover letter usually is a necessary tool. But, they don't know how to use that tool.
After all, the cover letter has gone through many changes since Baby Boomers applied for their jobs or sent marketing letters for their enterprise way back when.
The ethos of Corporate America dominated business communications. Therefore, cover letters integrated the formal tone of all-business. Baby Boomers worked from the model of the internal memo.
Then digital introduced a conversational tone and need to keep the reader interested. That style has been reinforced by how tech leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg communicate. At first many traditional players were shocked by his public statements.
For example, one mea culpa was that Facebook had made a mess of mistakes. Then as Facebook became increasing successful Baby Boomers began getting it that they had loosen up their own communications.
Essentially, what makes for an effective e-mail blast and a cover letter include:
- Provocative subject head. No, don't just put "Social Media Expert." Get attention with "Social Media Expert Reduces Bounce Rate 34%."
- Frontload first paragraph with keywords. A robot might be doing initial screening. Those keywords usually will be in the help-wanted ad.
- Spell out edge early. "The edge I provide is proven ability to reduce bounce and boost conversion rates."
- Insert graphic. But only one.
- Focus on recipient not yourself. "Your organization will benefit ..," is the way to go. "I, I, I" is not. Remember cover letters are part of the sales process. Your're what you're selling. The focus is on the customer.
- Assume the sale. Key phrases are "Together we will ..."
- Put a Call To Action (CTA). "When we talk ..." Provide contact information.
The marketplace keeps changing. Your edge might too. Therefore, you have to monitor your pattern cover letters for outcomes. Even before there's a decline in responses, research what's effective in e-mail blasts. You'll gain the insight you need to keep pitching to win.
Stuck? Contact Jane Genova for complimentary consultation on making all your marketing communications effective (firstname.lastname@example.org).