4 Things to Remember When Writing Your Cover Letter
Keep it short, sweet and to the point.
(by Javier Guerra)
(Photo: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels)
You probably already know what marketing materials you need to present when approaching a prospective talent agent, manager and other industry professionals, when seeking a meeting.
You need high-quality headshots. You need a professional acting résumé. It also helps to have a quality demo reel. A good website or IMDb page wouldn’t hurt either.
But don’t overlook your cover letter. It, too, is an important part of your sales presentation. It may not be the most important thing, but it’s no small thing!
There’s no right or wrong way to do a cover letter. But there are some things you should consider to increase the effectiveness of it.
#1: Keep it short, sweet and to the point
Your goal is to give a prospective agent or manager a reason to meet with you. You don’t need to give them every detail of your life in order to achieve this.
In fact, TMI (too much information) is usually counterproductive. Put too much information in a cover letter and you run the risk of giving them a reason to NOT meet with you.
And that’s to say nothing of the fact that no busy agent has time to read a very long letter. Besides, any agent who has enough time on their hands to read long, drawn out messages from unknown actors is probably not the right agent for you. You want your prospective agent to always be busy finding work for their actors.
Keep it short, sweet and to the point.
#2: Address the person by name
When you’re sending out large amounts of mail or email to prospective industry pros, it might be tempting to use a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, you might want to use, “to whom it may concern,” as your salutation. But this impersonal approach is a missed opportunity to connect.
Take the time to address each person by name. More time might be needed for this more-detailed approach. But the payoff comes when the receiver opens your submission and sees that you are seeking them out personally.
#3: Personalize your message
When you’re sending out large amounts of mail or email to prospective your business partners, it might be tempting to replicate the message itself. It’s just easier to do it that way. You just create a generic message, mass produce it and send it out to all the agents in town.
But this, too, is a missed opportunity. How much more effective would your cover letter be if you had taken the time to research your target audience? You could, then, include some of the information you discovered in your research.
Keep your cover letter short, sweet and to the point.
For instance, you could reference some of the actors your prospective agent currently represents (or doesn’t currently represent) as the reason why you think they would be a good fit for you. Including details like that can make the difference in you getting a meeting and you getting overlooked.
#4: Say something interesting and unique
Remember, a talent agent or manager is getting swamped with requests for representation almost on a daily basis. Sending a message that sounds like all the other messages they receive is not likely to be effective. You have to do something to stand out from the pack.
And it’s really not that hard. Just emphasize what makes you, you. What’s unique about you? What traits make you special? What in your background can you talk about that would make people’s ears perk up? What roles have you done that people might remember?
Did you meet them somewhere? Remind them of that. Are you working on an exciting project? Give them the lowdown. Were you referred to them by another actor? Mention that actor by name.
Including that one key detail, exclusive to you alone, might be the magic key that opens the door to opportunity.
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