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Make Sure Your Cover Letter Gets Read!

Sometimes it feels like you’re sending your résumé off into the never-ending blackness of space where it will seemingly be out there forever, floating and spinning like General Zod and his crew in “Superman: The Movie.”

To avoid this, take a look at the cover letter you’re using. If it’s not even remotely interesting to you (and it should be, it’s about you after all), try to think how a stranger reading it would feel. Bored to tears, probably, right? Not to be harsh, but who knows if they’ll even read it all the way to the end.

You have to make them read it. Get their attention at the top of the letter, hold on and don’t let their mind wander from the subject of you until they decide they have to meet you.

I’m not saying you need to take it to this extreme like this guy, who just does it to be funny, but you can learn something by reading his letters. They all have one thing in common: they are fun to read and make you want to finish reading the entire thing.

He uses blunt honesty to add to the humor of his cover letters, but it’s actually not a bad tactic, to a certain extent. Be up front. Try it in a few of your letters and see if it works. If you aren’t getting a lot of calls back anyway, what can it really hurt to say, “I love the job as it’s described in your ad, and I honestly don’t think you’ll find a better candidate than myself.” (And if you aren’t already doing this, remember that you should write your cover letter to be specific to the job ad you’re sending it in for. Generic letters are seldom read.)

Hiring managers can only read “I’m well-educated and have great communication skills” so many times before they go crazy and have to take yet another coffee break. Wake them up with your creativity and make sure they’re riveted enough by your words to flip to your résumé. Don’t include the same tired language everyone else uses. You’re a person, an individual – make them see it!

One Response

  1. This is good advice but please remember that for every recruiter that reads your cover letter, there will be another that just skips it and goes straight to your resume.

    It is vital that the two work in tandem to give you the best chance of securing your dream job. Remember the fundamental rules, decent size font, plenty of “white space”, easy and inviting to read, punchy summary, highlighting key acvhievements, not too long etc.

    The best prepared candidate always gets the job and this starts with a great CV AND covering letter.

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