From a Recruiter’s Viewpoint Vol. 37

In this Issue:
Cover Letters Revisited

Cover letters are no longer word documents sent as an email attachment or via the US Mail. The cover letter needs to be in the body of the email in order to be read. It should be a maximum of 400 words.

The cover letter is your personal ad. It’s your only opportunity to make a good first impression. The purpose is to motivate the reader to read your resume. Nothing in your cover letter should be repeated in your resume. Always address the email to the hiring manager. Perform sufficient research to obtain the name and title and correct spelling.

The first paragraph should state what you are looking for. In other words, the reader simply needs to know why you are sending this to them.

The middle paragraph should address why you are a match to their needs, how your background matches the job description or how you can solve their problem and be the solution they are looking for. Find their “pain” and tell them how you can make it go away. Answer the question of “What’s in it for them?” Use 2 to 4 bullet points and quantify your highlights with metrics. Overall, you are trying to give them a reason to want to read your resume and talk to you.

Lastly, thank them for their consideration and let them know when you will follow-up.

Templates are ineffective. Be unique, be direct and be aggressive. Make sure there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes. Proofread, proofread and proofread.

If after waiting a week, you do not get a response, resend your email with some new information. This will separate you from the stack. Like any sales process, multiple touches can make all the difference.

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