The E-Note: 2014’s New Cover Letter?

Is the e-note replacing the traditional cover letter? Not necessarily. Traditional cover letters still have value—in most instances—when submitting your job search package. The e-note is most effective when applying via e-mail or making contact via social media. So, what do you need to know about the e-note to leverage its effectiveness in your job search in 2014?

Half The Space

The e-note should take up about half the space of a traditional cover letter. Brevity is best. Think about the typical length of an e-mail, and then keep your e-note short and sweet.

Easy To Read

Cutting the length in half also makes your cover letter or e-note easier to read. It’s important that your e-note be short and easier to read because many employers will be reading it from their smartphones. The easier the e-note is to read, the more likely it is the person will read it. You won’t be attaching it to the e-mail; the e-note will be in the body of the e-mail—so concise and polished is key.

Subject Lines That Grab Attention

Use a subject line that will immediately catch the reader’s interest. Mention a contact name, use the position title, address a need—be creative and catchy. Just remember to be professional. Examples could be: Jane Smith suggested I contact you. John Smith said I should reach out to you about XYZ opening. Jane Smith referred me to you. John Smith, Project Manager Long-term project manager – Jane Smith

Mention Connections

Name drop when you can. Have a connection within the company? Were you referred by someone who knows the hiring manager? Be sure to mention it; referrals are powerful when you’re in a job search—and extremely effective at ensuring your documents get read.

Play The Matching Game

Remember when you were a kid and you played the matching game? Consider that an early exercise in your future job searching success. Make the match between the employer’s requirements and your experience. It can be as easy as saying: Project Management: Led 12 teams to ... Cost Savings: Saved $2M in ... Point out their requirement and your experience as it relates to the position—just remember to keep it short and sweet.

Interactive Sign-Off

When you end your e-note, be sure to include links to sites where the employer can find more information about you. Directing them to places such as your LinkedIn profile gives them a direct way to find more information about your professional background—without them having to go hunt it down. Consider including in your signature links to your:
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Twitter Handle
  • Professional Blog
  • Online Portfolio
  • Social Media Resume
As technology evolves, so does the job search—and staying on top of new trends can help set the pace for your job search in 2014. Take some time to practice writing a great e-note that you can customize as you apply via e-mail to different positions. Looking for more great tips? Check out these two articles: Top 9 Cover Letter Tips for 2014 or 25 Best Resume Tips for 2014. Want to work with us? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rate—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at or contact us for more information if you have any questions. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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