Less than 5% of all job seekers use marketing letters, yet nothing we know of can lead to more appointments and job interviews. By sending only the marketing letter, your resume is held in reserve for later use. The key to success is addressing it to a specific person and informing that person that a phone call will follow. Your goal is to meet as many people with the power to hire as possible, regardless of whether any openings exist at the moment. This is accomplished by requesting just fifteen minutes of their time.
The use of marketing letters has revolutionized the way most clients find jobs. In the past many companies have had clients cold call potential employers to ask for brief appointments. They understood the importance of the calls, knew they would work, and had practiced what they would say. However, some failed to make their calls, and those who did call, often procrastinated. Sending a marketing letter makes placing those calls easier now. Knowing that a person is expecting your call and is already convinced that you have something of quality to offer, makes a substantial difference psychologically. Using the marketing letter should get you in to see people with the power to hire, 40-80% of the time. Those needing to speak to presidents of companies should expect to make appointments 10-20% of the time. Notice the impact of the following marketing letter and you'll begin to see why these letters get results.
The following marketing letter is especially strong because each accomplishment has been quantified. Marketing letters always have more impact when results are quantified, and most people can easily come up with at least four solid accomplishments. You sense that an employer would want to meet such a person even if no position currently existed.
Writing an effective marketing letter requires that you first have a results-oriented resume. Once the resume is complete, the marketing letter almost writes itself. In fact, the results statements used in the marketing letter can come almost word for word from the resume. The primary portion of any marketing letter is a description of your results and experience. To write a strong marketing letter, review your resume and think through how you want to summarize your background. If you have four to six key projects or results that can be quantified, simply describe them, as was done in the first sample marketing letter. If your background does not lend itself to that approach, the more narrative form will work best for you. Although names of companies are usually not mentioned, you can mention them if you so choose. Sometimes people will mention only well known companies. Even dates or time periods can be mentioned, but are not usually necessary.
Remember, the marketing letter is not a resume. The reader is not expecting to know everything about you. Your goal is to have impact. Your letter should cause the person to recognize your value and to remember you when you call. Write like you would in a letter. Let it flow. Take a look at your qualifications statement in your resume. Perhaps it can be included almost as is. If you are going to emphasize results, they can be lifted almost word for word from your resume, although you'll probably want to make some minor changes. Since your resume was written in telegraphic style, with incomplete sentences and certain words removed, you'll need to adapt the resume to the marketing letter. All sentences should be complete sentences. If you choose to describe past jobs, as in the third example, phrases can again be lifted from the resume. Since this is a marketing letter, you may choose to describe only the last three jobs, even if in the resume five were described. Don't be concerned if your resume and marketing letter have similar phrases in them; no one will notice.
A good closing paragraph for your marketing letter might include a summary of your background, such as the number of years in your field, and information about your degree and alma mater. The final paragraph then prepares the reader for any follow-up contact you might make. In most cases this will be a follow-up phone call.
If the person is local you would usually request a 10-15 minute meeting and indicate so in the letter. If the person is out of state, but is likely to be in your area in the next two or three months, you would request an appointment when the person is in the area. If the person is out of state and would unlikely visit your area, you'll have to sell yourself by phone.
Each marketing letter should be individually typed and addressed to the person with the power to hire. By supplying a word processing service with ten or more names at a time, you should be able to keep your costs down to about two dollars for each letter and envelope. There will be an initial inputting charge for the letter, but after that you'll be paying primarily for printing time, plus the inputting time for the additional names and addresses.
Other Uses of the Marketing Letter
The marketing letter is a very flexible tool. It can even function as a substitute for a resume when responding to a help wanted ad. Sometimes, no matter how well written your resume is, it may not work well in response to a particular job listing. Perhaps the job would make an excellent use of your talents, but requires experience you don't have. Traditionally one would write a customized cover letter and possibly even modify the resume. Using the marketing letter approach the entire letter would be geared to the specific job. Of course you would probably keep in major sections of your standard marketing letter, but it would be customized throughout.
Perhaps your most applicable experience occurred five years ago. With the marketing letter you could mention it first and indicate how many years you did that work. The exact dates would not be mentioned.
Although the best recommendation would be that you send marketing letters to specific people, with the intention of following up by phone, they can also be used in mass mailings. Even if you do not intend to follow up with a phone call, the best suggestion would still be that you invest the time to identify the person with the power to hire. However, if you choose not to do so, address the letter to a specific tide, such as Personnel Director, Chief Engineer, or Accounting Manager. Because it is a letter, and does not have the appearance of a traditional resume, it is more likely to be de livered to the most appropriate person. With this approach it is easy and fast to send out the same mailing two months later if you have not accepted another position by that time. Your success rate will be lower with this method than if you followed up by phone-quick and easy is its main selling point. Please, however, do not use this method just as an excuse to avoid the more productive and effective follow-up methods discussed.