Getting Started with Cover Letters

The real first impression

Your cover letter is the first thing many see before reviewing your resume. It could also be what deters them from reading any further.

When we talk about cover letters, it’s important to remember in our digital age this may also mean an introductory email - not only a formal letter.

Cover Letters are fascinating for their particular trait of being the most hated part of a job search. From both sides. What do we mean? Recruiters hate cover letters just as much as you do. We asked 14 recruiters from different industries and here are the results:

  • 3 of them read it after reviewing the resume if the resume makes the cut

  • 11 of them never read it, but may print it out if a hiring manager requests it (2 said hiring managers actually request it)

So if people hate writing them and reading them, why bother? Well, the catch to the information you just read is if you don’t include one, you can kick yourself out of consideration. Why? Because it shows you made the effort.

If you took the time to actually write or update your cover letter with the specific position title, company, and skills the company desires, you’re already on the right track. If they open your cover letter only to see it addressed to the wrong organization or a completely different position, you may not even get through the pre-screening.