Tools & Tips

Job Search – If you want your cover letter to be read

In my opinion, if you want your cover letter to be read, do these things:Cover letterDon’t apply online, but email your résumé to a recruiter or hiring manager instead.

  • Don’t make it an actual “letter.” Instead, make it the body of the email with your resume attached. When people attach a letter and a résumé to an email, let me just say only one attachment is getting opened, and it’s always the résumé. So don’t even bother.
  • Keep it short and to the point. Like seriously, five sentences is all that’s necessary. If you’re in sales or something, maybe a few bullet points. But no multiple paragraphs. Long cover letters are simply not going to get read.
  • Tailor it. Get the name of the company right in the cover letter. When I did campus recruiting for new grads at Expedia, half of the time the candidates got this wrong. They were applying to companies at such volume that it wasn’t uncommon to see “I’m excited about the possibility of an opportunity at Microsoft or Google or some other company that was not the company for which I worked.”
  • Inject some personality into it, please. If your cover letter sounds like that of everyone else, you have completely defeated the purpose.
  • Similar to “objectives” on a résumé, cover letters are a bit of a t

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Job-hunting: Do recruiters read cover letters?.

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