You are sitting at your computer, ready to apply for your dream job. You have been waiting for the perfect job to be posted or the certain person to reach out to you and so you start to ponder your cover letter. The butterflies are in your stomach and anticipation of getting the job is in your head. You are sitting there thinking “What should I write in my cover letter??” Well, be relieved that as much as you hate writing covering letters, hiring manager hate reading them.
It takes 7 seconds to review a resume and 1 second to scan your cover letter. So the truth is if we see another cover letter that expresses the “desire to learn” or how your education and experience matches that of the job, or how you managed 15 people which can clearly be seen in your resume please, don’t shoot us, just pull our eyes out! As there is no such thing as an “eye catching” cover letter. Don’t be fooled by posts with information that must be in the cover letter. For the love of anything do not have one…it’s old school!
In the new school of thought, there is no secret to writing a great cover letter, except for not having one and here’s why:
Cover Letters Have Proven To Be Your Window For Error: Countless people make so many errors in their cover letter. Aside for the fact people still make spelling and grammatical errors, people also forget to ensure their cover letter matches their resume and social media platforms.
The ATS- Applicant Tracking System Is Against You- All recruiting firms and most companies use an ATS to make their recruiting efforts more efficient so your cover letter isn’t even kept! It gets deleted as your resume put into the system.
Your Resume Tells Your Story: We know your cover letter is full of jargon about how you want the job but would you apply if you didn’t want the job or work at the company your writing about in detail??
It’s So Damn Long!! What the heck are you writing?? You make it as though we have all the time in the world to sit an read a novel during our work day. If you can’t write quickly, what will it be like meeting you??
The Cover Letter Profiles Your Monotony: Everything you have written in the cover letter is profiled in the resume..we get it. You worked at a, b c company for x years, managed so many people etc etc…again there’s no need to reiterate it in your cover letter.
Your resume, if strong enough, will highlight the elements of your resume that will ensure you are the right match for the job and company you are applying for. If it doesn’t then revamp your resume. Gone are the days when it had to be one page. If you have experience profile it, highlight it, embrace it but let the cover letter die in peace.
If you want to get noticed, don’t write a cover letter write an introductory email about the person you are writing to, as it’s not all about you.
Jessica Glazer is the Recruitment Director/Founder of www.MindHR.com-a head-hunting and resume writing agency. She can also be heard on Montreal’s NewsTalk Radio CJAD and seen on BTMontreal and Global television speaking about employment related issues.