By Brenda Bernstein
The Essay Expert
Just about every client I work with lately brings up the rumor they’ve heard that no one reads cover letters anymore. This rumor is ONLY a rumor and if you take action based on it, you will shoot yourself in the foot in your job search.
In an article posted on Work Coach Cafe, a successful job seeker named John relates how the CEO of a company personally reached out to him to thank him for sending a cover letter! In fact, John was the ONLY candidate to send one — most likely because everyone else believed the rumor that cover letters never get read. John made an impression.
The cover letter is your opportunity to show genuine interest and to make a case that you are specifically qualified for this job.
Why would you tailor your resume to a job and then write a generic cover letter? If you are truly interested in a position, it is worth your time to write a unique letter to the company about who you are and why you would make a difference for that company. Do not write a generic letter and send it along with a generic or somewhat tailored resume to zillions of job listings, hoping that you’ll somehow win the numbers game. That is NOT the way to get a job!
Instead, begin building a relationship right from the start with the company that might be your future employer. Imagine yourself in this job and write down what you will bring to the position. Sell yourself.
Anyone can spot a cover letter that is really just a mail merge. Remember: You are a human being and, if you get past the computer scanners, so is the person who reads your cover letter. By writing a custom letter, you reveal your humanity and respect the humanity of the HR person or hiring manager. If you begin early to develop a relationship with that person, you are in great shape to be asked for an interview.