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Cover Letters Are Not Dead

 

News flash: Recruiters still read cover letters. At Tech Needs, solid, professional cover letters are a great way to get you to the next step.

A recent applicant comes to mind. The resume did not have a “wow” factor and, based on the resume alone, the candidate would not have been contacted for an interview. However, the cover letter grabbed attention.

That cover letter specifically addressed the requirements of the job, referencing our web site and postings on Glassdoor – including what this job seeker could do to aid pain points for Tech Needs. Clearly, this candidate did research to understand the needs of the role, giving a compelling reason for consideration. 

Here are some things to think about when preparing your next cover letter:

 

Read the job description

 

Really. This may seem like a given but many recruiters receive cover letters that have virtually nothing to do with the job. Remember, recruiters receive a lot of applications and if it’s clear early on that your cover letter isn’t a good match, your resume may not even get a glance.

 

Tell a story

 

Hold your resume in one hand and the job description in the other hand. Your cover letter should tell the story as to why your resume and the job description are a good match. Draw parallels between your experiences and the job description. Include examples that directly explain how you will take on the challenges of the role, based on the job requirements and expectations listed in the description.

 

Don’t explain your resume

 

The cover letter is not an expanded form of your resume. They are two separate tools for finding a job. Too many cover letters just regurgitate a resume with little reference to the job description. If your resume needs explaining, that’s not the job of your cover letter. That means your resume needs a rewrite. 

 

Make It about the job, not about you

 

Want to stand out? Write about how you can help the company. Don’t just say, “Here’s how great I am.” Recruiters prefer to see the value what you can bring to the role as opposed to a laundry list of your prior accomplishments.  

 

Don’t Copy and Paste

 

It makes sense to have a “generic” cover letter, but use it as a template. No one wants to write a new document time and again, especially if you are seeking a position in a specific industry and for a specific job type. 

But, be careful. Recruiters see a lot of cover letters that say, “I would be a great fit for the technical support position,” and the job is actually for a completely different position. You didn’t update your generic version. 

If you use a standard cover letter as a starting point, remember to read and re-read the finished version. Then, read it again to make sure it is accurate for the job!

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