Cover letter and résumé are stock elements of a job search. In recent years, a LinkedIn profile and personal website have been added to the job seeker’s portfolio. It’s a mistake to view these as discrete components. The task of securing a new position means marketing yourself. Rather than viewing crafting a cover letter and updating your résumé as individual tasks, understand that they are part of a holistic approach.
When you start thinking about your job search as an ad campaign, you can identify how the pieces fit into a unified whole. This lens helps you think strategically about the process—and maybe even have a little fun along the way.
Unify your message. Do you have a comprehensive story? Your various application materials and social media presence should reflect a cohesive portrait of the values and experience that set you apart. A clear, cogent message extends to visuals as well as text: are your photos professional and consistent from LinkedIn to Twitter to your website?
Consider your audience. Just as advertising executives think about who they are trying to reach, you should think about how your message will best be received. This will inform how much jargon you use. Take advantage of the opportunity to integrate keywords across your application materials.
Bring energy, not just information. Your communication and presentation should always be professional, but that doesn’t mean it should be boring. Your aim is to introduce the company to your approach and personality, not only your experience. Through a dynamic portrayal, you allow organizations to get to know who you are and how you would be an asset to their company.