The Case of the Vanishing Cover Letter

img_5947When you are going through the job search process, you often have a very limited amount of contact with employers and hiring managers. If you are applying for a position without any connection to the company, you only get to present yourself on paper and hope that who you are and what you bring to the table comes through.

This is why I am completely gobsmacked by the fact that people pass on one more chance to introduce themselves and tout their experience by not submitting a cover letter.

3. Submitting resumes without cover letters

This is just lazy. I know not all positions require a cover letter but submitting your resume without one is you missing an opportunity. Cover letters allow you to clarify and expound upon accomplishments, skills, and situations that are not always clear on a resume. Even if your cover letter isn’t perfect, it helps show a hiring manager who you are.

It is a myth that no one reads cover letters. When I am hiring I read them.

In many cases, resumes go through a screening process by software or a human. By the time, I receive a resume, I am pretty sure that the person is qualified for the job. What I don’t know is if this is a person I want to speak with. Will they be a good fit for the organization? Who are they? Cover letters may not get you the job, but they can certainly help get you an interview.

Always submit a cover letter. Don’t let anyone tell you they are not necessary. You may never be able to whip out a fabulously, creative document that becomes the standard for all cover letters going forward but you are certainly capable of developing an honest statement that answers three questions:

  1. Why do you want this job?
  2. Why this company or organization?
  3. How will I be a value add hire?
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