Wish I'd seen this and been able to help you when you posted this 8 days ago. Guess we don't have many executive jobhunting experts available...but anyhow this will help going forward:
This is your chance to stand out. Be memorable. Make them say, "We have to talk to this person!"
Don't be bland. Don't write what "everyone else" would. Hit the highlights and hit them early. What makes you different? What makes you special? Tie this back to the role.
Most cover letters aren't read...but when they are, the opportunity to become differentiated in the employer's eyes is open. All they need is ONE key reason to call you--remember that. And the cover letter can encourage them to read your resume in more detail.
If your resume isn't being scanned by an optical reader for keywords, then the employer will be scanning it. This is just as important to know. They won't be READING it. Understand this. They will scan through the top third of Page One of your resume...and if you don't give them a reason to keep scanning, your resume will be thrown in the trash. So use your real estate wisely. People try to pack everything into a resume. This is a mistake. The purpose of your cover letter & resume is to Get You The Interview. That's it. Not to be a full backup of your life.
So hit 'em hard up front. "Wait...what? I need to read that *again*" is the reaction we want. Not a nodding of the head...because all that will lead to is you in a pile with a million other candidates. We're not after "reasonable" here...we want "outstanding".
I have several times had employers create jobs for me that did not exist before I showed up.
This is not my opinion, or unproven ideas.
If I was in your shoes, I would make a small website. A few pages of video and written content demonstrating how I awesomely do what I do. And my cover letter would hit them early with What Makes Me Different...and then link to the multimedia for more.
Think about it...if they go to that link, and invest the time to watch what you've put up--and it should take you a day to create--are they going to call you? Of course they are. Who else will have done something like this? Who else are they going to feel they know (at least a little)?
People are in "I'll take anything" mode when it comes to employment. This is wrong. Focus, choose what you want and go for it with the killer instinct. Do what nobody else would do. What I suggested here isn't wild or crazy or even difficult...but hardly anyone Means It enough to put in the effort. And that's why someone like me will get the interview even if I don't have all the qualifications...and get the job. Because once I get into the interview, it's a whole new ballgame and anything can happen.
> Big benefit and differentiator up front
> Some "feel safe" content -- bullet points on your skills/experience matching their qualification requirements, for instance
> Link to external content that further differentiates you and develops the "relationship"
> Closing on why this is your dream opportunity and how you want to meet to discuss it in more detail. NO DESPERATION, though! Add phone # to arrange interview.
Keep it brief and punchy, like a good marketing email.
If you sound like everyone else, you'll get treated like everyone else.
Why are you writing a blind cover letter? In a large (and I'd go so far as to say "popular") organization like the Cincinnati Reds, unsolicited job applications are likely to fall on deaf ears. I was a Fortune 100 recruiter and the general rule of thumb for the thousands and thousands of applications we received, was that each applicant had to be actively interested (and qualified for) a particular job we had open. If an applicant applied for an open position, but was better suited for another role, I might keep their information "on file," particularly when they had a desirable skill set or diverse experience which could help my company.
A cover letter helps further explain the qualifications and experience on your résumé using a first-person voice. The basic formula is "Dear Hiring Manager, I know you're looking for ___(key words or skills from the job posting)__. I have done this successfully. Please read more on my résumé." This helps you optimize your key word score and further explain bullets from your résumé.
It also is a great place to explain relocation plans or to put to rest potential concerns about terms of unemployment. For instance, "You'll notice I haven't been working for the past year. I was... (whichever of these might apply) ...transitioning out of the military, ...moving my family across the country or ...caring for an ill relative who has now recovered." This way a recruiter doesn't wonder what you've been doing when gaps are evident in your work history.
Make sense? Call me and I'll explain more and answer any other questions you have. We can also talk about innovative ways to network both online and in-person so that you're not approaching the Reds blindly.