The traditional Letter of Introduction (aka Cover Letter) is a standalone document which is typically three-quarters of a page to one page in length and is submitted in tandem with the Resume as an expected component of the foundational career marketing documents. The primary purpose of the Cover Letter is to serve as the front-line introductory document providing a brief overview of the candidate’s professional background and key selling points (experience, expertise, competencies, accomplishments, industry recognition, advanced or specialized education, etc.).
The New Trend in Cover Letters, the E-Note
A new trend in online job searching techniques is the e-note, a short, concise, and focused email letter, which is used when submitting a Resume in response to a posted position, an inquiry to a targeted prospective employer company or reaching out to a network contact or recruiter. An e-note is a concise, condensed version of the traditional Cover Letter which provides in the body of the email (to which the resume is attached) a brief overview of your background and key selling points. Brevity is the key in an eNote; the objective is to deliver a short (300 words or less) easy-to-read career synopsis within one or two brief paragraphs, or three to five bullet points.
Brand Yourself in the Subject Line
The subject line should not only clearly state the reason for the email (executive seeking a new opportunity) but should also capture the attention of the screener or hiring manager by including a key selling point (experience, expertise, specialized education, etc.) with a branding statement, e.g. “20-Year Award-Winning Marketing Executive Seeks Director of Marketing Role.” Career Coach Lei Han suggests 6-10 words that highlight your best qualifications will increase the likelihood that your email (and attached Resume) are read.
Key Words and Phrases Reign Supreme
Hiring managers look for key words and phrases related to experience and expertise that is directly aligned with the requirements of the posted role. The Cover Letter should provide examples of the experience and expertise that communicate why you are a viable candidate for the target role. And like the Resume, the Letter of Introduction should include position- and industry-specific key words and phrases. Targeted key words are critical in the technology age, as it’s become a standard process for most employer companies to enter resumes into an applicant tracking system which matches the candidate with key words and phrases from the open position. A Letter and Resume lacking key words is in jeopardy of never making it past the electronic screening system to reach a live screener.
For development of custom, accomplishment focused and keyword-rich Executive Resumes, Letters, and eNotes that can help you land your next leadership opportunity, contact Colleen at Executive Resumes Atlanta.