Four Other Types of Cover Letters

By Martin Buckland - Executive Career Management Professional

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Sure, everyone knows about the typical advert cover letter written when applying to an advertised job but do you know and - more importantly - do you use other less traditional types of cover letters? With only 9% of all jobs in Canada being advertised, it is imperative you maximize your job hunt by exploiting all the tools in your job search arsenal. Let’s review 4 other types of cover letters.


With the exception of the E-note format, all cover letters should be a full 1 page, not ½ page, 2 pages or a 140 character Tweet.

Recruiter Cover Letter

This style of letter is written to introduce yourself to a Recruiter and should provide a concise overview of your qualifications and specific client contracts you would be seeking. Include your fields of expertise, a sampling of quantifiable career achievements, industry-related credentials, and education. Be specific and honest in your disclosure sharing with the Recruiter your preferred type of role, type of company, and if you’re willing to relocate or travel. Don’t expect an immediate response from the Recruiter unless your qualifications match a current client search they are conducting.

Direct Mail Cover Letter

Sometimes called a “Cold-Call Letter”, this style of letter can be used to express your interest in working for a targeted company. Provide the reader with a brief synopsis of your skills, qualifications, employment experience, accomplishments, and credentials. You want to engage the reader in how you can solve a problem, thereby giving them a compelling reason to hire you. Identify who you are, what your value is to the potential employer, and what type of role you are seeking.

Networking Cover Letter

In this type of letter you’re writing to a specific individual at a company at the recommendation of someone in your network who has ties to the target company or the individual you are addressing the letter to. This can be a wonderful avenue to open up dialogue and influence the reader to further pursue your qualifications. The opening paragraph is generally what differentiates a networking cover letter from a direct mail style. After mentioning the name and connection to the individual who referred you, the balance of the letter is similar in style and strategy to the direct mail letter, offering a general introduction of who you are, your expertise and why you would be a valuable asset to the organization.

E-Note Cover Letter

The newest type of cover letter is the E-Note. Unlike the other full page cover letters discussed above, an e-note is buried in the body of an email or uploaded to a job board. Concise writing is imperative as an e-note is typically half the content of a traditional cover letter yet must still convey the whole message answering the who, what, why and how questions every employer is seeking. It’s best to highlight your top 3 or 4 assets or impart a quick career story.

Tap the power of the hidden job market and spark interest in your unique value by crafting a variety of cover letters, each customized to match the target audience, preferred role and industry keywords.


Martin Buckland, President of Elite Resumes, is a leading resume writer, career coach and job search strategist with a global clientele. Martin currently holds the following certifications: Certified Professional Branding Strategist, Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Professional, Job and Career Transition Coach, Certified Job Search Trainer and Co-Pilot Executive Coach. Learn more at

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