The typical cover letter introduces your resume and highlights your most relevant or notable accomplishments. A pitch letter goes a step further, illustrating to employers how you’ll use your knowledge and experience to solve a problem, boost the company’s reputation or contribute to its growth. You can also use a pitch letter to contact companies you’re interested in but that have no advertised openings.
Research the Company
Your letter must demonstrate that you understand the company’s mission, values, goals and challenges. Conduct intensive research before submitting your letter, noting anything that sets the organization apart from its competitors, any impending changes and any obstacles it faces. If’you’re responding to a job posting, learn as much as you can about the position, not only by scrutinizing the ad but by talking to current and former employees. Uncover as much as you can about what the company values in employees and what it takes to succeed there.
Grab the Employer’s Attention
Use your research to craft an engaging opening that will entice the employer to read on. Instead of saying “I’m writing in response to your ad for a marketing director,” say “As you prepare to expand into the international market, you need someone who understands the subtle cultural differences that must be addressed to tailor your products to a new audience. I helped my last employer accomplish this when they moved into the European market last year, and I’m confident I can produce the same results at your organization.”
As soon as you’ve piqued the employer’s interest, move immediately into why you’re the ideal candidate. Offer specific, detailed reasons. For example, instead of saying “I have 10 years of experience in journalism,” write “During my 10 years in journalism, I’ve covered some of this state’s most high-profile and challenging stories. In fact, more than once I broke news stories which were subsequently picked up by national media outlets.” Review the job description and elaborate on how you fit each qualification.
To persuade employers to hire you, you must prove that bringing you on will benefit the company. Describe concrete results you can deliver. For an even greater effect, outline a 30- or 90-day plan illustrating how you’ll make an immediate impact. For example, say “In my first three months at the company, I’ll launch an initiative to encourage employee feedback and discover why turnover is so high. I’ll then pinpoint three ways we can boost employee morale and increase retention by 10 percent.” Conclude your letter with a sentence such as “I’d like to tell you more about how I can contribute to your company’s success. May we meet for a face-to-face interview?”
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