Tuesday, August 10, 2010
entertainment industry question 524: Would you be open to meeting for a cup of coffee and see if we have any personal or professional synergy?
For all of my loyal readers/ seminar attendees, you know I couldn't resist this one! The romantic comedy writer in me had to post on it, because what if, like in the movies, I met this guy for coffee, we hit it off, and lived happily ever after? Then I'd have a great example for my networking seminar when we get to the "story part" about how a guy asked me out in my blog and the rest is history. I will have to "check him out."
He also asked about cover letters. Well, you want to stand out in your cover letters, which clearly he knows how to do. However let this be a lesson to the rest of you that once it's been done, the originality wears off, so no more suiters asking me out in my blog ;-) The bar has now been raised, you'll have to be creative.
Anyway, enough about my dating life. Let''s discuss cover letters. The best thing your cover letter can have, is a referral in the first line. A referral automatically gets noticed, either by the person to whom it's being sent who knows your mutual acquaintance, or by an assistant who may or may not recognize the name, but who doesn't want to take the chance of not passing it along if the mutual acquaintance is important to his/her boss.
Secondly, as I mentioned above, you want to stand out. Most people write a boiler plate cover letter listing why they are right for the job or why they deserve a meeting. My clients have had exceptional results with instead of listing their outstanding traits, telling a brief, to-the-point story that incorporates their outstanding traits. This is far more interesting to the reader, makes you stand out, and also gives insight to your personality. Again this story should be brief because you want your cover letter to be one page.
Finally, after giving your recipient the information needed to contact you, write that YOU will be following up in a week (or give the date for a week from when you send it) for his/her response (if you're asking for a meeting or mentorship) or to be sure they received your letter/resume/package (if it's for a job).
Keep in mind that I am an entertainment industry coach, so we are a little looser in the Biz. Corporate cover letters may be a little more formal, but that's not my area of expertise, though having worked corporate, I would much prefer a cover letter like the above mentioned to a cold formulaic letter that tells me the same thing about the person writing it as the last ten letters I read.
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