You are probably familiar with the "elevator pitch." You know, the one-minute speech every seasoned salesperson has memorized to deliver at a moment's notice. It may be a cliche, but like all cliches, it is rooted in some truth. And it could help you get hired.
Let me explain. The next time you craft a cover letter or intro email to a hiring manager or a CEO ask yourself, "What is my elevator pitch? What would I say if I had one minute to land the job?"
You would not waste time talking about the weather. You would make the most of the opportunity, introducing yourself and sharing your top qualifications and accomplishments.
A short, well-crafted cover letter can be the difference between getting noticed or getting passed over for a job.
You may think cover letters are no longer necessary. But I can tell you that they still matter. We receive thousands of emails every month from job seekers applying for open positions at Aha! — the best intro emails follow a simple framework and inspire us to learn more about the candidate.
The following describes the best cover letters that this CEO loves to read:
Simple to read
We are all busy people — both applicants and hiring managers. Make it easy to quickly scan your email. Use bullet points and keep paragraphs to a few sentences.
Share why you are interested in the position and drop in a few details to show that you did your homework. If you can personalize the email with the hiring manager's name, all the better.
Outline what qualifies you for the job. Mention your current position and the name of the company you work for. Briefly list relevant education or special training, especially if the employer is looking for candidates who have a particular degree or skill set.
Link to work
Be sure to link to your LinkedIn profile. Do you have an online portfolio with work samples as well? You will make the hiring manager's job a whole lot easier by supplying the examples of your work that they need.
This is a big one. Choose the resume format that the company prefers. At Aha! we prefer PDFs — because we actually review each resume. (Remember that if we are not connected, I can not see your entire LinkedIn profile.)
Showing that you are considerate and researched how the company would like you to share your background is important.
We do our best to make it clear what we are looking for and that is why I have shared the cover letter format we prefer before. I suggest that it is a good overall format for any cover letter and that you should follow it when a company does not explain what they want. So, it is worth sharing again. (Let's imagine I was writing this cover letter a few years ago.)
I have 8 years of experience in SaaS Marketing and would like to speak with the right person about your open Marketing role. I believe I am a good fit because I have:
Please find my LinkedIn profile here: www.linkedin.com/in/bdehaaff/
I have also attached a PDF version of my resume.
I graduated from Northwestern with a master's degree in Marketing and I have a B.A. in Philosophy from U.C. Berkeley. I currently run product marketing for
Could we set up a 15-minute intro call?
Cover letters and intro emails are a prime opportunity to quickly share who you are and why you deserve a second look.
This is your chance to grab that prospective employer's attention with an unforgettable elevator pitch. Your effort will not be wasted, especially when you land the interview at a company you are interested in working with.
Brian de Haaff seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world's #1 product road-map software — and the author of "Lovability." His two previous startups were acquired by well-known public companies. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life. Connect with him @bdehaaff