The problem for most job hunters is, not only has the job market changed dramatically, but so have basic job search tools like resume and cover letters. Today, everyone is working off the same examples and templates, and there are just too many competitors. If you’re not optimizing every piece of your application packet, someone else is, and when they interview, they will beat you.
Here is an example of cover letter tactics or two that will add kick to your cover letter and make you the candidate to beat:
1. Don’t talk in generalities. Precision is 7.2 times as persuasive as generalities (see what I mean). When you explain what you can do for the manager, back it up with numbers whenever possible, and make them as specific as information allows. “Hundreds of thousands” is better than lots. “More than 630,000” is better yet. And 649,261 is best (if the data backs it up).
Precision suggests that you’ve done the math. And you know what you’re saying. And precise numbers are typically more believable than SWAG’s. Get records if you can. If not, take the time to estimate from memory and do the math to figure out by number what you’ve achieved.
If you must guess, use the best guesses you can and remember how you put the numbers together in case someone asks. Finally, if you’re guessing, you may as well end your numbers in 7. It’s the most persuasive number for reasons that surpass understanding. And you’ll be implementing and additional example of cover letter tactics that your competition isn’t aware of.
2. If your application packet is going to be different on the inside, mark it as different on the outside as well. There are a variety of ways you can do this. If you want to use a regular first class envelope, mark it on the outside. You can write a note on it or use a red ink stamp. “First class mail” might be enough though you can be more creative. Try “The Information you requested is enclosed”.
You can even use a different kind of envelope, manilla, 9X13 so you can mail your cover letter flat, or even special delivery if the employer is important enough to you. Just remember, all this will raise attention, its like tapping the recruiter on the shoulder in the middle of a conversation. Just make sure what you deliver on the inside merits the interruption.
That’s an example of cover letter tactics going outside the envelope. Just be certain that the job application you include inside lives up to the impression of the special mailer you create.