Hello gorgeous. This will be quick, because I’ll be doing a Facebook Live on the topic in a few hours, I’ve already written a lot on the topic, and it’s even covered (COVERED! Hilarious!) in my SMFA Essentials called “Bios and Cover Letters That Don’t Suck.”
Still, I’m gonna hit you up with eight tips to remember as you craft and perfect your cover letter. Plus free resources! This way, you’ll be off to a great start even if you can’t join us on the broadcast. You’re welcome. 😉
First Rule of the Cover Letter: Keep it brief. There’s not a lot of mystery to the mail. We don’t open submissions thinking, “Why is this guy sending me his headshot? I’m so confused!” So, your cover letter needn’t go into major detail to explain its purpose or your reasons for sending it.
Second Rule of the Cover Letter: Include P, P, and P. That’s personality, professionalism, and proofreading. Although the entertainment industry is unlike any other business, it is still a business and you are writing a letter in pursuit of an interview that will lead to representation or an acting job.
Third Rule of the Cover Letter: Do your homework. This seems simple, but I have received cover letters that go into great detail commending me for my work on projects I’ve never even heard of. Doing a targeted mailing will always net you better results than a mass mailing.
Fourth Rule of the Cover Letter: Include contact information. You’d be surprised how many people go to the trouble to put together a mailing with a wonderful headshot, fantastic resumé, and stellar cover letter, only to neglect to include contact information of any kind.
Fifth Rule of the Cover Letter: Let us in on your status. Union status, local hire status, heck, share a bit about your TIER. Explain a bit about what steps you’re taking to elevate your career to the level at which reps will want to be a part of your team. What are you excited about?
Sixth Rule of the Cover Letter: Let your YOUness (that’d be your brand umbrella) shine through in everything you do. And — if you’ve not grabbed it yet — I have a totally free preflight checklist for you in the SMFA Hot Sheets area of the dojo!
Seventh Rule of the Cover Letter: Focus on the recipient more than on yourself. Yeah, you’re introducing yourself, you’re pitching yourself, but ultimately you’re describing how you’re a solution to a problem THEY have. You’re filling a need. You’re letting them in on how well you know that THEY will benefit in sitting down with you.
Eighth Rule of the Cover Letter: The purpose of the cover letter is to get a meeting. It’s NOT to close the deal. But most folks have cover letters trying to do way too much. Like, getting married on the first date. Stop that. Leave us wanting more. Entice us to want to meet you. Then rock the meeting when you land it!
More on all of these tips — and more — in the broadcast. 🙂 Be sure to post your cover letter in the comments over here if you want a shot at having me do a live tear-down of it for you during the show (even if you won’t be able to watch live; there’s always a replay at my YouTube channel)! Can’t wait!
Looking to get in class with me? Enrollment is open for LA, Chicago, New York, and Toronto here! Wanna keep up with all sorts of events going on? Trapeze *and* karaoke next week? Yup! We’ll always update the events calendar for you! Want to turn a friend on to the greatness that is the Self-Management for Actors journey? Our START page is right here (and it’s filled with free resources). And if you’ve been waiting to hear back from me about private coaching or other collaborations, hold tight. I’m on the mend and starting to get back into my inbox bit by bit. Your patience is greatly appreciated!
Didn’t I say this would be short? I lied.
YOU? Keep your cover letter short. Not Bonnie short. Normal people short. 😉 Thanks!
See you later on the broadcast!