The Fax Cover Letter Makes a Comeback
By Jimmy Sweeney
Busy offices today are inundated with faxes and more than a handful of fax cover letters [learn how to fax your cover letter for free], not least because direct mail companies have discovered this tool to be a cheap means of blasting information out to as many potential customers as they can find. The poor office fax machine has become a sort of mass broadcasting medium for anyone trying to peddle their wares, no matter how unsuited to the recipient they may be. It is vitally important today that if you are going to send a fax and yes, even if you are sending direct mail yourself that you take the time to craft an intriguing fax cover letter. Unless your intention is simply to fill up the recipient’s wastebasket.
Here is something they don’t tell you (because they really don’t want you to know): a fax cover letter gives your fax a massive advantage over any other correspondence sent via that medium. In the first place, it is only through a fax cover letter that you can inform the recipient of how many pages they should have received. All to often, a paper jam or a lack of paper in the paper tray will lead to a page being lost from your fax communication, and there is no reason unless you specifically tell them for the recipient to know that a page is actually missing.
Pros and Cons of the Fax Cover Letter
More importantly however, companies tend to treat faxes that come with a cover letter as more important than those that do not. They simply look like they are more likely to have something important to say when compared to those one-page fax shots with pictures of laser printer toner cartridges and a list of pricing that make up the bulk of received faxes today.
Furthermore, a fax cover letter gives the recipient the opportunity to quickly get an idea of the content of the pages behind it and to decide whether it is worth their time to read further. This is an important step because it is the only real opportunity you have to either hook them or lose them forever.
It is also important to remember that today, many companies use PC-based fax software instead of traditional fax machines. That means that you can really go to town on your cover letter, making it striking and appealing without worrying that the recipient is going to be annoyed that you are using up all their toner or ink on the other end of the line.
Since you are not forcing them to print graphics against their will because they make the choice of whether to print or not you can design a stunningly good cover letter today, that will be greeted with interest rather than annoyance.
Fax may be a communication medium that is on the way out, as email cover letters becomes more and more prevalent. But while it is still very much in use, a fax cover letter can give you a significant advantage when it comes to being noticed and greatly increase your chances of a successful outcome.
EXAMPLE/FREE FAX COVER LETTER
(Include the same header utilized for your resume and subsequent job-search materials. Fax cover letters vary slightly in appearance, as well as, length. Oftentimes, fax cover letters are lighter than typical cover letters so keep that in mind when developing your own.)
FAX COVER SHEET
DATE: December 10, 2010
Â Â Â Â Â Â Contact Name
Â Â Â Â Â Â Company
Â Â Â Â Â Â Fax#
Â Â Â Â Â Â Your Name
Â Â Â Â Â Â 10-Year IT Director (add a quick-glance career description, like this one, if you wish)
RE:Â IT Director Position
For this position, you’re seeking a qualified professional with 3 or 4 key ingredients: management, networking, programming, and systems development experience. Am I right? I’ll outline how my background “hits the bulls-eye,” so you can easily see I’m the perfect candidate for this job. I guide and assist each tech through technical aspects of the installation process, ensuring each customer receives top-quality service and is given the support needed — whether it applies to PC support, networking, programming, telecommunications or data communications. Plus, I presently serve as team leader for HT Technical Resources and supervise the teams for HT Technical Resources. Whether managing the team, or handling internal administrative processes, I possess extensive knowledge and I’ve done a great job overseeing a technical operation.
Matching every facet of your job description, I’m a perfect match for this position. To discuss my qualifications further, or to answer questions, call me at (814) 622-1821 or (814) 622-9191. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you.
/(your initials with a forward slash; i.e. /jbr)
Related Fax Cover Letter Questions?
Does a fax cover sheet replace a cover letter? Yes, sometimes it does. It the fax cover contains many of the elements from the cover letter, then including a cover letter as well with your fax seems redundant. In cases where your fax cover is more basic, not containing much detail from the cover letter, then yes, send a cover letter along as well. Either way, you want to ensure the employer possesses a letter with full details about how your skills meet the hiring company’s needs.
Is there really a wrong way when writing a fax cover sheet? Ensure that your fax cover clearly states the “TO” because you don’t want your important documents floating around the office. Also, stick with the same visual layout, header, and font as your resume and cover letter so everything matches. I can’t stress the importance of your materials being professional “across the board.”
Are there limitations with a fax cover letter? Much like the cover letter, try to contain it to one page. Remember, it’s always been questionable how many hiring agents and recruiters actually read these documents so push yourself to only one page of cover letter writing. Cold-contact cover letters or letters written by students, businesses, project managers, medical, or accounting personnel, the guidelines are similar. Keep the content tight.