A Simpler Cover Letter is a Better Cover LetterMar 28th, 2011 | By Bill | Category: Cover Letters, Employment News
I was at the library the other day and I ran across some interesting books on writing job getting cover letters. All the authors included 50 more different kinds of cover letters in their respective books. They were all quite comprehensive in covering all the possible scenarios and situations. They all also had one thing in common – the letters were like dissertations.
Go ahead, head to the library and you can peruse the resume counters and see for yourself. Without exception, all the recommended letters had four paragraphs with three to four sentences per paragraph. That is a long letter.
If someone told me I had to write a letter that long, I know I would be stressed. If I had to read those letters as a hiring manager, my eyes would glaze over after five of them.
I think a long letter, or a full letter, is almost disrespectful of the hiring manager’s time. You know and I know that there is going to be a ton of responses to any job opening. To send a cover letter that makes a hiring manager work at reading it just does not seem smart to me.
It seems to me that an effective cover letter gets to the point without being arrogant and abrupt. You do this by using the cover letter to briefly introduce yourself and to highlight either the key accomplishments and/or skills for the reader. You finish by summarizing your position, which is that you are best qualified for the position, and asking for a call.
Unlike resumes, the use of complete sentences really helps here, especially because you can integrate bullet points to great effect. You take a couple of sentences to state why you are writing, and then, immediately segue into highlighting a few key points from your resume. You are basically seeking to steer the reader to where you want her to focus on the resume itself.
Of course, you list the bullet points in terms that the job and company wants.
You summarize how the company potentially benefits from meeting with you. You end by asking for contact. The letter is on point, simple to read, simple to understand and is mindful of the hiring manager’s time.
I believe this type of letter would be more useful than the detailed, descriptive cover letter templates that you find in so many books out there. Head to any library or bookstore and see for yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and imagine receiving 50 plus cover letters and resumes like those.
It is enough to make your brains melt.
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