Are you confused between Cover Letters vs Marketing Materials
Larry Arrance Cornerstone Consultants-
There often is some confusion as to the difference between a job seeker’s cover letter and a small business’ marketing materials. As a Small Business Marketer and an Personal Marketing Coach I’m going to state that their is no difference. For either them to produce the results the job seeker or small business owner they have to effectively market your product or services. The reason I bring this up in my small business marketing blog is the result of my wife bumping into an old colleague of hers. This person mentioned that she wasn’t having as much success as she would have liked with her job search. My lovely wife offered my services to critique the resume and cover letter. It was clear after reading the cover letter that this person did not see it as marketing materials.
How are Cover Letters and Marketing Materials the Same?
The cover letter and your personal marketing materials both have to accomplish the same objectives. They both have to catch the attention of the reader. If nobody reads the cover letter or marketing materials, no sale or interview will follow. They both have to engage the reader so they will continue reading. Just like 80% of sales letters are not read past the headline so too a weak or boring opening for the cover letter can render it ineffective and ignored. Both the cover letter and marketing materials have to educate the reader as to why they may need to product or service. The cover letter and marketing materials both must end with a call to action.
For cover letters and marketing materials to be effective they must target their market. Just as not all costumers are the same, neither are all employers, managers and HR Departments. Too many job seekers and small business owners make the mistake of writing their cover letters or marketing materials using business writing guidelines. This is a huge mistake. Why, because businesses don’t buy products or services. Businesses don’t hire job seekers. People buy and people hire. Your cover letter and marketing materials must be written in terms of the needs of the reader.
Cover letters and marketing materials have to be written focusing on what is in it for the reader not the job seeker or small business owner. I found a job ad in the field that this job seeker was targeting. Using a highlighter I showed her the hot buttons that were sprinkled throughout the ad. Where she had been making her mistake was filling up her cover letter with what she thought was important for them to know. While these were good points they were not as important to them as other factors. It would be the same with your small business marketing materials. If I am keenly interested in ease of use, little or no learning curve and compatibility with my existing products then your marketing materials had better be make that a priority.
Whether you are a job seeker or a small business marketer it is a good marketing lesson to look over cover letters from a marketing perspective. Does your cover letter or marketing materials get their attention with the headline or opening sentence? Does the first paragraph engage the reader and make them continue reading? Does the material educate the reader enough so that they want to know more about the product or service? Is there a call to action? Have you given your reader instructions as to what to do with the marketing materials or cover letter once they are finished reading? If your cover letter isn’t performing as marketing materials then what is it doing?