How to write a cover letter for digital marketing – Tips from the resume experts
A cover letter is like the “top ten” album of your career hits. It’s the abridged version of your success. It must be sweet, to the point and memorable, in order to do its job – which is to get you into the “yes to interview” pile.
We’ve written about how to write a how to write a cover letter before.
To really nail a cover letter that will get you one step closer to your dream job in digital marketing, you need to produce something a bit special.
(As a happy aside, there is no better time to get a job in digital marketing. According to this article, the digital economy is growing 10 times faster than the traditional economy.
“I see the cover letter as a great place for you to display your passion for your role in the digital economy and to show a bit of your personality,” says Brad Houston, Associate Director at SevenTwenty in Brisbane.
Here’s 3 easy ways to do exactly that:
- Show that you are on top of new innovations and trends coming out of the industry. Follow major digital marketing sites such as Moz and Search Engine land (for SEO), Hubspot (for content creation and execution) and Social Media News (for…aherm…social media news.) Latest trends likely to have an impact on the company you are applying for? Tell ’em.
- Learn (and use) the terminology. As a digital marketer, you’ll be all over terms like SEM, SEO and PPC. An inability to use them appropriately in a cover letter is sure sign you are newbie and one that recruiters will be on the look out for.
- Got a personal love project that you are working on that uses your skill set? Talk about it. Many digital marketers can’t help themselves and on their downtime, play around with website and other experiments that test out various theories. Even though it may be unrelated to the industry, personal projects can often be a way to inject some personality into your cover letter and show that digital marketing is more than just a job for you.
- Own the data. Every single business wants (or should want) to know what the return on their investment is and digital marketing is no exception. In your cover letter, you should mention the metrics of any campaigns you have run. Did it work? How do you know? If it didn’t why and what did you do to fix it? Prove that you understand that that digital marketing is an important part of business – not a cute add on.
But when you’re applying for dozens of jobs at a time, how do you personalise a cover letter without spending your entire life writing cover letters?
“There is nothing wrong with having a ‘master’ cover letter that you tweak for each job you apply for,” Houston says, “but make sure that whatever you do, you don’t send through an application addressed to the wrong person or, worse still, outline your passion for pursuing a career in a completely different field to the job that you have applied for (I have read these…more than once).”
Don’t be careless and don’t make the same mistakes as your peers. Set yourself apart from the competition by following these quick and easy cover letter tips to getting your dream job in digital marketing:
Make an effort to find and use the hiring manager’s name. Houston notes: “If the person has listed their name, use it, don’t just address the letter ‘to whom it may concern’.”
“Think carefully, research and prepare,” suggests Monica Magann, a career counsellor at Career Directions Australia. Know the company you’re writing for. Doing so will allow you to personalize the cover letter to fulfill their needs.
Make a good first impression
A dull lead-in won’t get you anything but the bin. Just like a good book, your first line should reel them in, while still being concise and direct. It should introduce you and your intentions in a unique way. In continuing the first paragraph, elaborate a bit further on why they should hire you for this role.
Match their tone
Your potential employer created a job description for this role, and the employer also likely has a website. Do your homework. Read up not only on what the company is and represents, but also make note of the company speech. In your cover letter, highlight or even steal the words used in the job description to mirror their tone. This shows them you’ll fit right into their company culture. But at the risk of sounding fake, don’t overdo it.
Fulfill their requirements
“Make sure you mention the key attributes you have that line up with what they’ve asked for,” Houston suggests. “You need to make it easy for them to put you through to the next round!” Highlight the requirements and skills they’ve noted in the job description and expound upon your professional experience in these areas. For instance, if they want a creative numbers person, demonstrate your experience and aptitude with statistics and strategy.
Get to the point
Essentially, your cover letter should do two things: 1) tell your potential employer why you want the job, and 2) convince them to choose you. Do this in the body of your letter by drawing comparisons between what you do and what the company needs. For instance, if they’re looking for a dynamic digital presence on social media, provide relevant examples of product promotion you’ve led on social platforms that has generated leads and/or sales.
Format your cover letter
Your cover letter shouldn’t be a big block of text; it should be readable. Lay it out in a pleasant easy-to-digest format. “I like short 2 – 3 paragraphs, cover a bit of your interest in the role, your passion for this sort of work and your relevant experience,” Houston recommends.
Close with clarity and candour
Enter on a good note and leave on one. Close your cover letter by restating your excitement for this role and the company, and how you fit the company like Cinderella’s shoe. Also, be sure to clearly state how the employer can get in touch.
One final tip comes from Thomi Keogh of Just Digital People.
“Every single day I see plenty of people submit resumes with the most stunning cover letter and resume showcasing amazing skills and abilities but they have missed one small tiny detail….Contacts!”
Make those details easy to read, in a place that is easy to find on your CV. Don’t showcase your Instagram, not your email, not your MySpace, we need your phone number.
Don’t put them in size 0.25 fonts in the header of your CV, or in the body of your cover letter. Front and center – easy right?! Along with your contact details ensure you have your Linked In, GitHub or any other related links ready to be clicked by potential employers.
With 200 applicants for the one position, why would you make it a challenge for employers to reach out to you? Put the time and the effort into making your resume stand out and be the best it can possibly be and you will reap the rewards.”