What are Cold Cover Letters?
Writing good cover letters can be difficult even when you’re able to tailor the letter to a specific job advertisement. Writing a cold cover letter is an entirely different story—in this case you’re not replying to an advertised position, so it’s often difficult to focus effectively on showcasing your professional talents.
The main point of “cold calling”—sending unsolicited cover letters—is to tap into the hidden job market, which some experts estimate covers up to 80% of positions. Cold calling also helps you create contacts in the industry, so even though you may send many cover letters without generating specific job leads, it’s still worthwhile as a networking tool.
The biggest obstacle to generating job leads by cold calling is simply that no position may exist in a company that you send a letter to. Another significant barrier is that your skill set may not match the needs of the employer you contact. However, by sending a cover letter and resume to a company within which no open positions exist, you’ve at least got your information there in the company’s database should a position open up. And by doing some simple research on the company before sending a cold-contact cover letter, you can effectively show an employer that you have the skills they need.
The tightening labor market is causing many job hunters to be more innovative and more resourceful in finding, applying for, and securing job positions. Some job seekers are taking guts to apply for job positions long before there are vacancies. If you aim to do so, you should learn about writing and sending out cold cover letters.
To begin with, a cold cover letter is often described as an uninvited and unsolicited inquiry of a job seeker to a prospective employer, hiring manager, or recruiter. The letter is sent before there is any announcement about any job vacancy in a company. In some cases, cold cover letters lead to creation of specific and special positions that could accommodate a job seeker.
The advantages make a cold cover letter very popular these days. First, it could lead to creation of specific or special positions that may not currently exist. Second, it helps a job seeker gain early consideration for a post that has not been publicly advertised or announced yet. Also, it could help any job hunter expand his network of contacts. Rest assured that a cold cover letter sent to any employer prior to announcement of any job vacancy would not just be buried in piles of letters.
There are many ways on how you could make a winning cold cover letter. First, know and present yourself well. Remember that you are contacting a prospective employer that has not asked or advertised to be contacted. Thus, make sure you state what you are offering so that when a need for professionals or additional employers arises in the company, your application would be considered. Second, do some research about the employer. This way, you could appropriately state how you could be of value to the company.
Like any other type of letter, there are usual and conventional components that make up a cold cover letter. The salutation is a courteous way of catching initial attention. The opener creates a lead that would make the employer read further. In this part, you could take a value proposition and a news angle. The body should summarize all your strengths and accomplishments. It should also contain information about how effective you are as an employee in your recent employments. Lastly, the close ends the cold letter with a striking action statement, usually promising to make follow-ups for any possibility of a job interview.
Cold cover letters work. If you are aiming to jumpstart your job-seeking initiative, writing and sending out such letters would truly be of great help. Many success stories have already attested to the effectiveness and reliability of such documents. Do not worry because a rising number of companies these days appreciate cover letters as receiving such could help them lower recruitment costs.
An effective cold cover letter should strongly convey the impression that you’ve taken time to research the company you’re contacting. Mailing out scores of generic letters to different employers is pointless—it’s much more effective to narrow your focus to fewer companies and spend some time researching them. The hiring manager who reads your letter should feel that you’re serious about wanting to work for their company, not just that you want “a job”.
The other crucial point is knowing a little about the specific position you’re interested in. When you’re writing a cold cover letter, it’s more important than ever that you emphasize your relevant professional skills and talents, simply because a hiring manager will not bother to read your letter if it is full of irrelevant information. That means you must find out what the employer will consider relevant, and in this case, there is no job advertisement to provide that information. Again, researching the company will help here—find out what is important to the company, and emphasize the fact that you can provide it.