If you’re going to send an effective cover letter to a potential employer, don’t beat around the bush. Let me show you a bad example I just received:
“I have a lot of media experience that I’d like to put to good use. I hope you find my background interesting. Let me tell you a little bit about myself…where should I start? I slipped in to TV – production by chance. This was the early 90’s and I rose quickly in the ranks, doubled my salary in 2 years and had my own show running on one of the largest commercial stations in Sweden, TV 3, with an average of 46% of the target group tuning in every week.”
To be honest, if I wasn’t so interested in helping people improve the way they look for work, I’d have stopped reading at “my background interesting” and deleted the email. Even then, I only got as far as the excerpt above. I still have no idea what this person does for a living, and to be honest, I don’t have time to find out. Neither does the production manager who gets these kinds of emails all the time. They’ll simple delete it.
If you’re going to send an email cold-calling for work, then make it quick and painless. “I am a [role] and you can see my current show reel here [hyperlinked to your showreel]. I’ve attached my CV for you. Just to summarise, my main experience is with…” and then start telling me what you do.
There’s more advice in my book, Clearly Creative CVs, available on Amazon.