By Christina Nguyen
Many of you may wonder: Do you need a cover letter? These days, many employers mark cover letters as optional on job applications, which leads to many applicants not to submit them. But that would generally be a mistake. While it is extra work to apply, doing a cover letter can certainly help you stand out if you craft it in the right way.
What’s hard with the current marketing job market is that demand for jobs is greater than the supply, leading to a deluge of resumes for each open marketing role. In those cases, some HR professionals who screen the resumes don’t have the time to read all the cover letters. That said, never underestimate the power of the written word, especially as a way to decide between who to interview.
Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect, persuasive tone:
Employers prefer employees who actually want to work there for more than just cash and benefits. Out of all the companies you could have applied to, what drew you to that particular one? Have you been happily using its products since childhood? Does it have a mission statement that resonates with your values? Even a brief sentence on this helps tell a better story beyond your resume.
Take a look at the company’s past marketing campaigns and read the job description carefully. Provide details on any past campaign you’ve done and relate that to the work the company is currently doing (or will require).
For example, if you’ve helped to, say, develop experiential events, talk about how you can help the company coordinate theirs in your cover letter. Even if the role has responsibilities that sound a bit different from your previous jobs, describe how your experiences can help you excel at the position.
Writing that you “successfully implemented a robust social media strategy that the brand’s audience loved” is good, but it’s even better to add some quantitative data to that. Do you know what percentage change in conversions, views, engagement, or revenue your work drove? If the calculations reveal that you increased website traffic by 165%, make sure to mention that number to further reinforce your ability to drive results.
Many skilled, talented marketers may have a few unusual details on their resume, such as taking a few years off from work, a degree or interest in an unusual subject, or previous work experience. Even if you live and breathe marketing, certain details may make an employer wonder. If there’s anything that you think an interviewer might ask about on your resume, you can briefly address it in your cover letter.
Show that you’ve thought this cover letter out, from beginning to end. Use your brief conclusion paragraph to reiterate your overall positive feelings about the company and the role, your past experience, and your excitement to take this next step in your career.
Before submitting the cover letter, don’t forget to copy edit it. In other words, make sure there are no typos, grammatical errors, run-on sentences, or other indications that you lack attention to detail. After all, the cover letter is supposed to support your case, not defeat it! That’s it. We wish you the best of luck landing that marketing interview!
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