Your living depends on their success.
That means that, just as high-producing professional salespeople do, you focus on what you can accomplish for the recipient. You spend very little time focusing on yourself as a person.
The context is not social. It's all about benefit to the recipient.
In addition, it's not about credentials, at least not in isolation. Employers value them less. That's one reason applications to the M.B.A. programs, even at elite institutions such as Harvard and Stanford, are in decline.
If you discuss credentials it should be in relation to how they help you generate results. For instance, after you received that certification in Conversational Spanish, you increased business for the law firm 54% in seven months.
The focus on what you can accomplish for the employer or prospective client essentially has two parts.
The first is what you have accomplished for others who are similar to them. Make that specific.
No, you don't say, "As a marketing communications expert in the legal sector, I have an excellent track record in increasing responses to Calls to Action."
Instead. you say, "For a 45-agent real estate law firm I boosted responses to Calls to Action 35% in two months and for a 120-lawyer personal injury firm I increased Calls to Action 43% in four months."
Then, you briefly explain strategies and tactics in marketing communications you can introduce for them immediately and with low cost. However, you don't want to suggest that the organization isn't doing things right. You also don't want to sound unduly aggressive.
The way to reduce risk is to position and package your recommendations this way, "The most effective tactics, I have found, include tightening up the landing page, continually using A/B testing in e-mails, and graphically showing possible results through calculators."
Next, you ask for the opportunity to learn more about the details of their business by meeting with them. Provide your contact information.
When applying for a broad range of work possibilities, of course, you will develop a broad range of different cover letters.
As with formal sales calls, if your specific approaches aren't generating interviews, then reverse engineer the entire process.
- Kinds of work you're applying for. You may not have the experience needed or too much experience. Regarding the latter, more employers are imposing experience caps.
- Whom you're directly contacting. If sending unsolicited letters, find out from your network or human resources who does the hiring.
- Opening two sentences - Cite specifically why you are excited about this particular opportunity. State you are the best professional to achieve the results needed.
- Examples provided for accomplishments. Are they recent? If not, because you have been unemployed, get new ones by doing unpaid assignments. Few will turn down free.
- Length of pitch? Is it too long or too short? There are no absolutes here. The help-wanted ad will guide you. A long detailed one usually means the expectation of a long detailed cover letter. Some ads state for you to stick with four sentences.
- Tone? In selling, you mirror everything about whom you're pitching to. If it's a large brandname law firm, the tone will be formal. If it's a tech startup with two lawyers, the tone will be casual and to the point.
- Have you proofread? If you make changes in the cover you have to proofread the entire letter all over again.
- Are you customizing for every pitch? Recipients hate generic letters.
Assistance with cover letters, resumes, interview personas, and approaches to a job search available. Sliding scale fees. For complimentary consultation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.