by Ritika Puri
When you’re first applying for a role in the ad tech or media industry, particularly in a sales, account management, or an operational role, writing a cover letter can feel tough. The challenge doesn’t get much easier if you have experience in the industry either. Every company has its own jargon. And every facet of advertising seems to be its own niche, from third-party data integrators to bid management platforms. There’s a lot to know.
But the truth is, you don’t need to worry about what you know. Cover letters that shine are ones that communicate a desire to “figure it out”— to enjoy learning about and achieving results within a fast-paced market. Think of your cover letter as a narrative.
Strive to hit the following 6 points, along your narrative:
- An indication of how you found the job. Show that you’re a part of the ad tech community or have interest in becoming more immersed in relevant organizations.
- Knowledge of the ad tech industry. Show that you’ve done some exploratory research to understand the market and why it interests you.
- Knowledge of the company. Show that you have an understanding of and appreciation for what the company does. Explain what interests you.
- An emphasis on your skills. Explain why your background, interests, and expertise would add value to the company and role.
- Examples of past performance. Give an example of a project that demonstrates your value, particularly your contributions to an organization’s return on investment.
- A thoughtful thank you. Acknowledge that the hiring team took time to review your letter.
Some more pointers to keep in mind:
- Keep your cover letter short. On average, recruiters spend only six seconds on each resume because they are so strapped for time in their jobs.
- Be personable. Take the time to research the hiring manager or recruiter and address them by name. If you still can’t find information about the exact person to whom you’re writing, address your letter “to the hiring team at company x.”
- Be yourself. Envision your cover letter as a way to introduce yourself. Think of what you’re writing as analogous to a conversation at a coffee shop. Remember that you’re writing to your future colleagues.
- Include a call to action. Give your recruiters an idea for a “next step” to take. You could send hiring managers and recruiters to your LinkedIn profile, your blog, your twitter feed—any resource that represents your personality and expertise in the world of advertising.
- Initiate a dialogue. Make your cover letter readers want to get to know you and continue the conversation. Research your recipient. Learn what groups he or she is a part of on LinkedIn or where the company is posting jobs, for example. Show that you are actively following trends in ad tech.
Here’s a Sample
To the Hiring Team at Company Z,
I came across your open sales operations manager role while browsing through the LinkedIn Online Advertising Professionals community that you and I are both a part of. I’d love to learn more about the opportunity and to see if there might be a strong fit.
If it helps, here’s a little bit about my background. I started my career in account management, but I realized that I was better suited for an analytical, behind-the-scenes role. I have participated in projects informally at my company, including working with engineers to design a new tracking system and customer optimization strategy across $5M in annual sales. Our team’s work directly yielded a 25% lift. I’m interested in bringing this expertise to Company Z, particularly to bring more market perspective to the bid management platform your company is building. I’m intrigued and look forward to bringing value to your organization.
If you feel that my background and credentials would be a good fit for the role, I would love to hear from you. You can also learn more about me by checking out my blog, website and Twitter feed.
Every cover letter should be unique. For that reason, we’re not going to give you a template apart from the sample we’ve shared above. But if you’d like feedback on your cover letter questions, leave a comment on our Facebook or LinkedIn page. We’ll publish a follow-up blog post sharing constructive comments and answers.