Throughout the month of February, we’ve been sharing cover letter writing tips and strategies to help you connect with employers. This week, we are focused on the more modern approach. The value proposition letter. What is it? How is it different from the more traditional cover letter? And, when is it appropriate to send?
Differences Between a Cover Letter & a VPL
A value proposition letter is focused on your value offer –that is what you will do if you are hired for the role you are pursuing and is about 150 words in length. In contrast, a cover letter is longer and gives more detail on experience + achievements in alignment with a specific job posting.
With ever-shrinking attention spans, a persuasive value proposition letter has the power to grab and hold the reader’s attention more so than a cover letter. In a few short sentences, is clearly outlines why you are the candidate of choice vs. the rest of the competition.
Cover Letter: 300-400 words in length; approximately four paragraphs.
Value Proposition Letter: 150 words in length; shorter paragraphs that provide an overview of how you deliver value.
3 Questions Before You Start Writing
To find your value offer, ask three questions:
1. How do your skills + experience bring value to the company? That is, what is the financial benefit of hiring you?
2. What is unique about your skills + experience? That is, what sets you part from others in your field of expertise?
3. How does your blend of skills + experience align with current industry challenges?
Your answers will help you craft value-focused bullet points that provide a snapshot of what you can do for the company and how you do it better than anyone else.
Your Roadmap to an Engaging Value Proposition Letter
Beginning: VPLs most always begin with a question: “Do you need…” or “Are you searching for a …” and then the next sentence addresses a specific challenge they (or the industry) are experiencing.
Follow-up: After your opening, provide a quick snapshot of the benefit to the employer.
Bullet-Points: Next craft three accomplishment-strong bullet points that prove you have the solution to the problem your target audience is facing. Place the strongest bullet point first.
Summary: Follow the bullet points with a brief statement that summarizes your value + successes.
Value Proposition Letter Example
Are you searching for an Executive Director of Manufacturing with a track record of driving multimillion-dollar savings through implementing a culture of Lean?
Most recently, I’ve strengthened capacity for a billion-dollar global publishing company and implemented best practices to significantly improve efficiencies. In my career, I’ve:
- Raised productivity 33%, introducing a game-changing system allowing more work with less people.
- Added $2.5M to the bottom-line, restoring profitability to a division challenged with $1M+ in losses by introducing a quick-print program with two-week delivery time.
- Reduced employee turnover 200%, improving company culture through training and employee engagement initiatives.
I bring two-decades of experience successfully implementing strategy and infrastructure to ensure manufacturing and operational excellence. In addition, I have created safe working environments, promoted a culture of Lean, and directed quality standards/performance metrics in support of organizational goals and objectives.
If you would like to achieve similar results, may we talk?
P.S. I am well-versed in quickly scaling initiatives, adding millions to the bottom-line. To learn more about my accomplishments, please see the attached resume.
When to Send
If an employer does not specifically ask for a cover letter, you may include a value proposition letter (VPL) instead. A VPL serves as a great introduction to a potential employer, especially if you are cold calling an organization that has not publicly posted an opening. Here are 3 ways you can use it in your job search:
- In direct response to a posted job (with or without your resume).
- In lieu of a cover letter, when an application doesn’t specifically request one.
- Direct email to recruiters or decision-makers.
If you are still uncertain on how to create a compelling value proposition letter, reach out. I’d love to chat with you about your job search challenges and how I can be of assistance. Simply follow the link and schedule a discovery call.
PS: If you are director-level or above (earning 6- to 7-figures), statistics show a compelling value proposiiton letter can open the door to opportunity at an 85% success rate within a 90-day window.