Monday, October 04, 2010

Is This Cover Letter a Gimmick or Smart Marketing?

When it comes to job search cover letters, there's a fine line between smart marketing and sales gimmicks. The "Guerrilla Cover Letter" writers in this video claim their letter got an interview very quickly, but do you think it's too gimmicky?

Here are the points in this video that I agree and disagree with: Continue reading...


Orange County Resume Services said...

These days, job-seekers have to have all these ideas at their disposal. I like the fact that this option is quick, tailored, and proactive. My thought/question is 'does this make the candidate stand off the page?' How do we really know who cares or reads the P.S. at the bottom of the page - if they don't read it, it doesn't have impact. Ultimately, you've got to sell your 'value' - keep them focused on your applicable skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Does the 3rd paragraph really capture the value enough - yes, employers want a connection to qualifications from the job description, but I believe these generalized statements get overused. Another approach could be to include the 'good stuff' or highlights that really shows you, the job-seeker, in action successfully applying the skills/knowledge/abilities the employer is looking for. Add two to three bullets with these details. Still keep it quick and synthesized.

Eric Hilden
Professional Resume Writer

Cover letter samples said...

I concur with your views Susan. I saw this video few months back on Youtube. People do want to know what guerrilla cover letters and resumes are? Perhaps you could write an article on both? It will be beneficial to job seekers.

Kevin Donlin said...

Hi, Susan.

Thanks for reviewing our video! (I'm Kevin, the balding guy on the left.)

You're right -- this is an entirely different kind of cover letter. And the results people get using variations of it are entirely different.

We have found that you cannot bore anyone into hiring you. Yet, most traditional cover letters attempt to do just that.

We find that by taking a sales approach -- getting the reader's interest and "selling" them on the idea of interviewing and hiring you -- is the way to go.

This is the same approach used in letters to sell donations to the Salvation Army, magazine subscriptions to Newsweek, membership in the NRA -- any time you try to persuade someone to do something, you must sell them.

So, why not base your cover letter on what has sold stuff by mail for 100 years? That's our stand.

Two points that I'd like to make here ...

1) Re: "But these days, most job seekers send cover emails -- not hardcopy snail mails" ... yes, that is true. And these days most job searches last 33.3 weeks, according to US Labor stats. This alone is reason enough to stop doing what most people do, and start mailing cover letters (among many other things they should do differently).

2: Re: these cover letters being "gimmicky." We do find that it takes people out of their comfort zone to write a non-standard cover letter. You can certainly write and email a cover letter like everyone else is doing. But how's that working?

Every tactic that David and I do a video or blog posting on, and every Guerrilla job search "gimmick" I write about in my newspaper columns, has produced an interview or job offer for the person who used it.

We really don't mind being misunderstood. As long as our clients don't mind being employed :-)

Like this IT guy

this administrative professional

and, yes, this sales pro