Creative Cover Letter Alternatives

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by Ray Colegrave

This article is a continuation of ‘Has the Cover Letter Jumped the Shark?’, where we discussed the Guerrila Cover Letter and the Pain Letter. Today we’re talking about more alternatives to a cover letter, including an Employment Proposal, a Video Cover Letter, an Infographic, or a Slideshare Presentation.

Employment Proposal: Denise Bissonnette, author, trainer, and speaker on career development, suggests that rather than applying for an existing job, create a business proposition based on the principle that an employer will hire you if you convince them it will create more revenue than it costs.

If they hire you to do the work you are proposing, it will save them money, make them money, expand their customer base, increase their competitive edge by offering something the competition is not, or just be a natural extension of what the business is already doing.

The Employment Proposal does not have to be complicated, it just needs to suggest and explain to the employer that if the company hires you to do the work you are proposing, it will be to their benefit. The proposal can be used alone or, if it can enhance your proposal, with a resume.

Denise can explain it better than me; watch her video, Employment Proposals – Denise Bissonette. In her book Beyond Traditional Job Development she devotes an entire chapter, with examples, to employment proposals. Maybe your library has a copy.

Video Cover Letter: More often referred to as a “video resume” the purpose is more like that of a cover letter than an actual resume – an explanation of why you are the best job candidate.

The best way to learn about video cover letters is to view a few; go to You Tube and search “video resume example.” You will find good (and bad) examples. If you consider doing one, ensure you fall into the good category – two good examples, David Pederson and Chris Batchelor. However I would consider a video like this an introduction, and also provide a more detailed resume with it.

Infographic Cover Letter: More often referred to as an “Infographic Resume,” but the purpose, as with the video resume, is more like a cover letter. It conveys information in a highly visual format including images, photos, graphs, charts etc. to provide information about a job seeker. Infographics can be easily shared with connections and prospective employers and pinned to Pinterest.

Again, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some examples – Why you want to hire Kerri Little and Ryan “Doc” Holladay. (I just love the mug shot in the latter.) With a little imagination and creativity, this could be adapted in so many ways.

Slide Presentation Cover Letter: Perhaps better suited for a resume, but has potential as a cover letter as well; it’s a matter of detail. I did find a sample by Yashi Salvadurai to Air Canada, which, in concert with a resume, would be quite effective. If you have strong skills (or know someone who does) with PowerPoint or similar software, you could create a presentation to upload and share through slideshare.net.

Yes, the traditional cover letter is alive and well, but excellent variations and alternatives exist. In this information era where standing in front of a real person to market yourself and hand deliver a resume is increasingly difficult, you may want to consider all options.

I hope a few have been suggested in this article that may be of interest to you. Are you ready to step out and give them a shot?

Ray Colegrave – Resource Room Coordinator/Facilitator – GT Hiring Solutions, Victoria

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