Include Resume with Broadcast Letter?


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Brian writes: I came across Quintessential Careers last night as I was trying to unearth the answer to a question which was plaguing me all night. I’d be most grateful if you could tell me whether or not one should include a resume with a broadcast letter. I’ve heard conflicting opinions on the subject. What’s your advice?
The Career Doctor responds: The answer is: it depends. Although not talked about as much compared to networking and online job-hunting, a broadcast cover letter is part of a direct marketing campaign by the job-seeker –in which you identify a list of prospective employers, research the names of the hiring managers at each employer, and send an unsolicited letter to tap into what has been called “the hidden job market.” The strength of this strategy is that you can sometimes catch a hiring manager just as an opening is occurring, giving you sort of a first-strike advantage over other job-seekers before the position is even advertised — internally or externally. Because turnover happens frequently, a broadcast letter is still a good job-seeker strategy. But I never liked using the term broadcast letter because it carries the implication that the job-seeker can write one cover letter and broadcast it to a large number of employers — and that strategy will just not work. If you want to effectively use a direct-marketing approach, you will need to target (customize) each letter for each prospective employer. While parts of the letters can be the same, you will need to adjust other parts to showcase your knowledge of the company. Should you include a resume with your cover letter? My view is yes — always. But again, as with the cover letter, you will need to customize each resume to each employer. You’ll want to use some of the keywords that each employer uses in describing themselves in describing yourself. Other experts, such as Jeffrey Fox, author of Don’t Send a Resume, say that job-seekers should send resume after first winning over the hiring manager with a dazzling cover letter. In fact, Fox says a job-seeker should not send a resume to the employer until after the job interview — so that the resume can be as narrowly targeted to the position and employer as possible. Read more about cover letters — and resumes — in these sections of Quintessential Careers.