Henry’s Thoughts on NY Times’ How To Write a Cover Letter”
Henry’s generic response to this article:
This is a good article with lots of great ideas about writing cover letters that make a difference.
My guilty secret, it has been many years since I have read a cover letter. This does not negate the value of great cover letters, but their value is dependant on the type of position you are applying for. As professional 3 rd party recruiters, most of the positions we are asked to source candidates for are very specific in terms of the experience, education and skills required and there is rarely a large number of candidates to select from. As an example, we had a search recently for an international manufacturer of industrial mixers used in the chemical and oil and gas industries.
The only candidates we could consider required specific experience selling that type of equipment to that type of customer. Mostly we headhunted for the candidates but we did receive and consider resumes and if a candidate had that experience we would speak with them; if they did not, we wouldn’t, period. The cover letter could be written by Shakespeare or Faulkner, it would not matter.
On the other had, if the position attracted a large number of candidates with resumes that were similar in many regards, then the cover letter may be read to differentiate candidates. In this case, all the advice in the article is great.
I would disagree with one thing in the article about not duplicating the resume in your cover letter. If there is something important that you want them to know then put it in your cover letter and in your resume and even more than once in your resume.
Dale Carnegie said about public speaking, “-Tell them what you are going to tell them, -Tell them,
-Tell them what you told them.”
In a time where overworked HR is looking at 100s of resumes and scanning them to decide if they want to read them, you need to make sure that they see what you want them to see.
After researching the company and position ask yourself, “What do I want them to know about me?”
Then, tell them, tell them and tell them.
Best wishes in your career search.
President, Goldbeck Recruiting
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