Great Resumes Fast » Cover Letters » Why I Won’t Be Reading Your Cover Letter

We recently had an open position we were trying to fill and I was amazed—or should I say appalled—at the blanket responses we received from job seekers.  Potential candidates sent us cover letters describing experience they possessed that was completely irrelevant to our opening; it was the same as someone having a degree in veterinary medicine but seeking employment as an IT director.  Did these job seekers really think that going on and on for paragraphs about irrelevant experience was going to make me want to read their resume—or even more so—interview them?

I think I understand the dilemma here: Truly active job seekers are sending out countless job applications as quickly as humanly possible—probably exasperated by the sheer volume of applications they feel pressured to submit.  It’s not a shot-in-the-dark game, people.  Or a game of numbers.  I truly don’t believe it’s a situation where you have to submit 200 applications to receive two call-backs.  What it comes down to is a matter of focus and relevancy.  Can you make the correlation between your experience and career background and what the employer truly needs?  I’ll give you a perfect example.

We occasionally will have openings for certified or professional resume writers.  We place an ad for the opening online with some very specific requirements and ask that the candidate respond with valid and convincing reasons why he or she would be the best fit.  Some candidates go on and on—almost endlessly—about having authored books, written articles for medical journals, or their technical writing experience.  None of which has anything in common with resume writing—other than the word “writing”.  This is frustrating to hiring managers as they are wading through hundreds of job applications.  It almost seems like a waste of time.  I find myself thinking, “Why can’t they tell me what I need to know?”  I specify in the ad that I need to know about criteria A, B, and C—and whether you possess those skills.  Ninety-nine percent of job seekers fail to address their experience in these areas.  Why?  I am not sure if it’s laziness or  a result of being overwhelmed—but what I can tell you is that you’re only hurting yourself and your chances for an interview.

I know that when you’re submitting as many applications as you can you may feel hurried, rushed, or like you don’t have the time to make a customized submittal.  Truth be told, you’re wasting more time if you don’t.  Take the time to specifically address each requirement, and provide the hiring manager with the absolute most relevant experience you have that matches the requirements of the position.  You may be surprised at the results.

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class, resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.

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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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