Don’t Be A Cover Letter Hater

The best way to get your resume read by a hiring manager is to have already met them. Read that sentence again.

Okay. Got it?

The second best way is to have someone inside the company hand-deliver your resume to the person making the hiring decision. You’re on LinkedIn, right?

While I’m on that subject, as long as you have the inside contact, why not work with them to arrange a personal introduction to the hiring manager? (Read the first sentence again.) And be willing to buy the coffee.

In either case, you’ll want to deliver your resume with a personalized introductory letter.

Most people I talk to dread wrting the cover letter. They wonder, “What should I say that’s not already in my resume?”

Here comes the key point.

The singular purpose of the cover letter is to sell the decision-maker on reading your resume. You have fifteen seconds. Go.

1. Address your cover letter to the decision-maker, by name. Duh.

2. Get to the point in the first paragraph. Tell them, this is how I can help you. Use a little finesse, please.

3. State one or two reasons you are qualified. Don’t overdo it. Your resume will do the heavy lifting.

4. If your delivery method is email, copy and paste the letter into the body of the email (attach it, too). They may not ever get around to clicking on the attachment, so grab their attention in the email itself.

5. Mission Critical. Make sure the attachments can be opened. The format should be either PDF or WORD. No exceptions. If they have trouble with your attachments, you can forget about getting an interview.

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