Cover Letter or Not



You’ve completed a compelling resume. You have identified your target company and they

have an opening that fits you well. You’re about to contact them but have a nagging question:


Should I include a cover letter or is it even necessary?


Here are some general rules and rationale as to when and how to write cover letters:


• If your application is to a very large company through the internet below the manager’s level, two things are generally true:


– Unless they specifically ask for a cover letter, it will not be considered nor read. Why?


– Because very large companies use a computer with algorithms to pick out key words on your resume, not your cover letter. A human may never see your cover letter.


• The higher the position in the company you’re seeking, the more meaningful the need and influence of a well tailored cover letter:


– At the Director level or above, the cover letter should be addressed to a specific individual, usually the hiring executive


– The cover letter should reference any third party who is referring you or a common association with the executive. Any connection is better than no connection.


– The cover letter should be tailor designed to a specific job or function for which the executive is looking. Never write a generic cover letter or resume then hope for the best. At the director level or above, the generic approach works against you.


• If you’re applying through a large job board posting below the Director level, a cover letter is usually not needed unless requested. If requested, follow the rules below.


• What should the content of a cover letter be? Here are some guidelines:


– Keep it short but powerful. Think of it as a delicious appetizer to a great main meal


– Put the emphasis on what you can do for them rather than what you want from them:


Say “Your search for a XXXXXXXX is of great interest to me, based on my expertise and results as follows:”, rather than “I’m interested in your open position”


– Focus on the key 4 or 5 job requirements and your parallel experiences that would make you an outstanding candidate


– Include measurable results that will get the attention of the hiring executive. Show that you have solutions and strategies that solve problems.


– Use the company name in the cover letter with an industry connection if possible


– End the cover letter with a strong statement of intent. Your passion should show through without demonstrating desperation.


Think about it this way: A compelling cover letter leads to a compelling resume, then to a compelling interview. Your job is to present yourself as a result oriented candidate who has achieved success in the function that they are looking to fill. It all starts with a powerful cover.


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By My Greener Future

My Greener Future is a Job Search Strategy and Career Coaching Company. At My Greener Future, you will be connected with industry coaches who care about you and your career as much as you do. They will work with you to create your very own custom career plan and support you in achieving your short term and long term career goals. Join My Greener Future TODAY and see how it will change the way you think about your career.

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