This question has been the subject of a great debate in recent years, and many times I hear clients ask, “Does anyone really read a cover letter anymore?” The answer is YES—if you know how to use it! While some hiring managers and recruiters will scan a cover letter for important bits of information, there is a surefire way to ensure your cover letter is read. But before I tell you how to make sure your cover letter gets read I want to make sure you have a great cover letter. Here are three points to remember when writing your cover letter:
-Be concise: Don’t get long winded; no one wants to read your entire life story.
-Be relevant: Don’t discuss information that is not related to the position.
-Be attention-getting: Use bullet points in the middle of the resume to relay hard-hitting facts and accomplishments. Bullets will draw the eye—and for the reader who is scanning, they’ll pick this up.
After you ensure your cover letter is concise, relevant, and attention-getting, it’s time to make sure it gets read! Anytime you have the opportunity to apply for a position via e-mail, instead of attaching your cover letter to the e-mail copy paste it into the body of the e-mail. Your e-mail will be read nine times out of 10 by whoever is opening the e-mail. This is why it’s very important to keep the cover letter short. No one wants to read a novel. Use the time you’ve been given to communicate clearly and concisely. Anytime you can forward your resume to someone via e-mail, make sure you insert the cover letter into the body of the e-mail to ensure it gets read.
Need more advice on how to write a great cover letter? Check out our article: How Not to Start Your Cover Letter. And for more great career and resume related advice, visit us on Twitter @GreatResume.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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Should You Still Use a Cover Letter?