I stopped writing cover letters several years ago when I came across the most compelling and innovative letter I have ever seen. This letter was written by a mentor of mine. I called him up and practically begged him to show me how to write them. He did and since then my clients have had tremendous success using what my mentor calls "the Value Proposition Letter."
The VPL is a short, powerful letter that puts the focus on what you bring to the table in terms of value. It is easy to read and very compelling. You don't need to be in any special industry or level of position for a Value Proposition Letter to work for you!
Here are a few tips to writing these attention-getting letters:
Keep your letter under 150 words.
Your style is respectful but informal (friendly, me to you style).
Focus on the results you bring such as money you save or costs you control. Your results are the "anchor" of you letter and you write in support of your "anchors" or stated differently, your quantifiable achievements.
Some job seekers will claim they cannot quantify their achievements. Although there are some cases where one simply cannot put a dollar figure after an effort, the majority of jobseekers discover that they will tend to write the "what and the how" in their resume and cover letter documents rather than focusing or even stating the results of their efforts. And that is the key, finishing your story and focusing on what happens when you do what you do. I guarantee you, a company ultimately hires you to either make or save money. You are a part of that equation so simply shift your focus from the tasks to the results and you will find you have much more quantifiable results to share than you initially thought possible.
Begin your letter with "do you need", or "are you looking for?"
List 3 short bullet points outlining accomplishments.
Here below is an example of a Value Proposition Letter. There are many variations of Value Proposition letters and they can be written in different formats. This letter is written to send directly to companies in the industry that the writer is interested in and direct to the key company decision maker.
Are you looking for a proven product manager with a track record of driving revenues in this highly competitive market?
Recently, as a product consultant for a consumer services company, I increased their revenue 60% in less than 14 months.
My accomplishments include:
My current company recently moved their operations overseas. Although my compensation has been north of $__, I am primarily interested in a product management role with an outstanding technology company. May we talk?