Do I Need To Include a Cover Letter
Cover letters fall into the category of “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” Generally speaking, it is a good idea to have a well-crafted cover letter. But depending on the situation, it may or may not be necessary to send one.
If you do craft a cover letter, try to mirror the job description of the position of which you are applying for. If the ad calls for a certain amount of experience, try to indicate as such. If they give you a line by line summary of the ideal candidate try to demonstrate how you fit the criteria. The trick, however, is not to make the cover letter too long. Just a paragraph or two outlining how you fit the specific criteria should do the trick. So, when do you or do not send the cover letter? Let’s look at some instances;
When you should send a cover letter
1.) You send a cover letter to a company that specifically asks for a resume AND cover letter. You know why? They want to see if you can follow directions!
2.) You send a cover letter to a company so that they may check your written communication skills. If a hiring manager is torn between two candidates, and one has a well-crafted cover letter, and yours is loaded with grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, chances are that manager will go in the other direction.
3.) You send a cover letter to express your sincere interest in the opportunity
Nothing is more boring than opening up an e-mail with no introduction, no cover letter, and a sub-par resume. It gives hiring managers the impression that you are winging your resume to several opportunities and you are not focused on their company
When it is not necessary to send a cover letter
1.) You’ve already made direct contact with the hiring manager and he/ she has agreed to see you.
If you send a poorly written cover letter along with your resume it can hurt you. If an arrangement has already taken place via direct contact or recruiter, just send your resume
2.) When you are contacting a recruiter
We don’t read them. We haven’t got the time. Just send over your resume with a BRIEF introduction on your e-mail. I never read the 3-4 paragraph introduction and most recruiters will not either.
3.) If a company /manager does not ask for one. See reason #1
Whatever you do, make sure that your cover letter is clean, crisp, and to the point. Stay away from platitudes. Do a spell check. Make sure it is well written. Try to write it in the
first person- DO NOT begin the letter with, “I am writing.” Make sure of the name and title of the person you are sending it to. You can use a template, but make sure it is customized to fit the job description.
Knock ’em dead!
Cover letter, Hiring Manager, Human Resources, Recruiters, e-mails
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