Quite some time ago, I wrote about an emerging job search trend–using something called “e-notes.” At that time, it was a fairly new concept as a job search tool. However, since then it has gained significant momentum as an alternative to a traditional cover letter.
Let’s start with the “is not” part. An e-note is not an attachment to an email when you send your resume somewhere electronically. A cover letter is. An e-note goes in the body of your email message.
An e-note is designed to communicate the core message you need and want an employer to see, in a nutshell. While not as short as a Tweet, it usually holds about half the content of a traditional cover letter and takes about half the space to do it.
In other words, where you might have a one-page cover letter (hopefully not crammed TOO full), your e-note should be approximately 1/3 to 1/2 a page.
While they’re not for everyone all the time, you can use an e-note almost any time you are submitting your resume to a potential employer via email. If you do it right, your e-note has a better chance of being read by the recipient than a traditional cover letter in many cases.
E-notes have streamlined content, a relatively simple visual presentation, a to-the-point writing style (think few or no adjectives and adverbs), strategically selected information, and a focus on a specific topic with limited, relevant information.
Job Search E-Notes Tip: The subject line of your email message becomes critical in using e-notes as a job search tool. You need to concisely communicate a “message” in that space that will make your email stand out and motivate the recipient to open and read your attached resume.
E-notes can easily be customized to specific submission circumstances…and should be! There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” e-note. (Actually, there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” traditional cover letter, either, but that’s another matter.)
Do you need both an e-note and a traditional cover letter? Not for the same submission. However, if you want to physically mail a resume to someone, a cover letter is the way to go.
Need help incorporating e-notes into your job search tool kit? Creating e-notes is one of the services I offer–all you have to do is ask!