web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Are Cover Letters Dead?

Careers-logo-113012

The Purpose

Cover letters have long been associated with resumes and the job application process. In a time and a place when people were actually mailing resumes, the cover letter was a vital component that allowed the applicant to introduce himself and spell out why he was applying for a particular job. It was and still is imperative for the cover letter to be well-written with the correct grammar and vocabulary to grab the attention of the reader and influences him or her to call you in for an interview.

The cover letter is a great way to make your application stand out. While 95% of your resume will remain the same irrespective of the job, the same cannot be said for a cover letter – it really needs to be written specifically for each and every job.

The problem is that most people do not want to spend the time (read: hours) creating individual cover letter for each job application. The result is a cut and paste letter that makes your application stand out, but not in the way that you want!

Overall people hurt themselves by sending generic cover letters rather than help themselves by writing excellent ones. Given that track record, it is better to avoid sending a cover letter than to produce one that harms your chances for employment.

The Challenge

Recently, the wisdom of including a cover letter with a resume has been questioned. As resume submission transformed from US Postal mail to e-mail, the volume of applications for available positions increased dramatically. Given stationery, printing and mailing costs, it was not unusual to spend at least $1 on every resume mailed. With the advent of modern technology, there is no additional cost in e-mailing resumes for 100 as opposed to two positions, and a “how can it hurt” attitude now prevails. Google reports that it receives 3,000 resumes every day.

Under these circumstances, a very concise cover letter in the body of the e-mail containing your resume is most effective. Include 3-4 lines that indicate the position to which you are applying and a brief summary as to why you will make an excellent candidate for that position. Keep in mind that even here the writing is key.

Most major companies use online application systems, which use scanning technology to identify the applications that seem most relevant to a particular job posting. While a cover letter can allow you another opportunity to include the skills and keywords the system is seeking, the same rule applies: a generic cover letter will hurt you more than it can help you. Do not include a cover letter unless you take the time to tailor it for that specific position.

Some job applications require the submission of a cover letter. Under those circumstances, you really have no choice but to include one that is professional and targeted. It is quite likely that employers that require cover letters do so specifically to weed out less interested job applicants. This is your chance to demonstrate real interest in the position.

Some candidates really want to work for a particular employer. A targeted cover letter is a perfect way to demonstrate why this is your employer of choice and why you would make an excellent addition to their organization. That will allow you to stand out from among all the other applications.

Likewise, when a friend or a relative agrees to submit your resume on your behalf, a cover letter can be an effective way to ensure that your qualities are presented in the way you would like them to be presented, highlighting your skills and fit for that company and position.

The Format

Creating a cover letter (and even a resume) is an art and not a science, so there really is no one format or style to follow. The purpose of the cover letter is to indicate to the potential employer why you are the best candidate for the position or internship. So, what does a great cover letter look like? At Touro we advise our students to use a four paragraph format adapted from the Five O’clock Club.

The heading on the cover letter should match the contact information on your resume using the same style, font and including the same information. It should be addressed like a real letter with the name and title of the recipient, company and company address. If at all possible, address the letter to the hiring manager. Do the best you can to find out that person’s name via online searches, LinkedIn or even calls to the company (from a private number phone). If you cannot identify a contact, try to use something like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resource Professional” to make it slightly more personal. Never address a cover letter “To whom it may concern” or the equally nefarious “Dear Sir or Madam.” Doing so will make even the most targeted cover letter appear generic.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Are Cover Letters Dead?”

  1. Joseph Terach says:

    Good article! Here are some other interesting cover-letter posts: http://resumedeli.com/category/cover-letters/.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Moshe Kachlon (L) and Avigdor Liberman (R)
Liberman’s Secret Plan to be Crowned Prime Minister
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Ron Ansel
Touro--090514

Make sure that you know what the policies are and that you adhere to them scrupulously.

Touro-053014

As parents, it is a given that we love our children and want what’s best for them. How do we go about making that happen?

One way to view a student, or any human being, is as an amalgamation of four components: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.

Cover letters have long been associated with resumes and the job application process. In a time and a place when people were actually mailing resumes, the cover letter was a vital component that allowed the applicant to introduce himself and spell out why he was applying for a particular job.

So a student walks into a job interview with a mid-size accounting firm in Manhattan. His uncle arranged the interview and the student had not visited with Career Services. Let’s look at his professional persona – the image he projects to those in the world of work. Our young man is dressed in a suit with a white shirt and tie, black shoes and is carrying a leather portfolio with his resume tucked inside. Let’s zoom in a little more closely at the image he projects to the interviewer.

Scene One:

After noticing that you can’t log into your computer, your pulse quickens as you are called into your supervisor’s office. S/he has some bad news. You are being laid off. You have 15 minutes to clean out your desk and surrender your cell phone before security escorts you out of the building. Job termination, especially in the corporate world, can be heartless.

One of the best aspects of the frum community is our dedication to chesed. From a myriad of organizations to shul committees to neighbors doing whatever they can do to help those in need, chesed is one of the main pillars of our community.

A negative person may use words that are bland and lack vibrancy, like “did” and “worked” instead of words like “successfully accomplished” and “rigorously completed” which convey a more positive, powerful side.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/are-cover-letters-dead/2013/08/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: