Are cover letters read?

There is a misconception about cover letters. Many job seekers don’t bother to send cover letters because they assume they won’t be read. Wrong. 

I know that some employers and recruiters prefer to go straight to the resume and ignore the cover letter. However, you cannot assume that will always be true. Over the years as a Resume Writer, I have watched the importance of a cover letter grow. Many people who read resumes regularly find that a clear, concise and well-written cover letter makes their job easier. When written succinctly, a cover letter answers most, if not all the questions that are typically on the mind of someone who is about to read your resume: 

¬         Why is this person sending me this resume? 

¬         What is this person’s personal brand, and background? 

¬         What could this person do for me or someone I know? 

¬         What action do I need to take? 

A cover letter serves as a brief introduction to your resume, written in the personal pronoun. It informs the reader why you are sending the resume, for example, applying for a job, asking for an informational interview, or to discuss potential opening. It emphasizes your assets, attributes and business competencies that are most relevant to the position and corporate culture. A strategically written cover letter should position yourself favourably in the mind of the decision maker.  

Most cover letters are abysmal. They are either so brief and vague as to be useless, or too long and jam packed full of information that is irrelevant that the recipient won’t read. I am a great believer in having my client’s fully prepared. It could be the tipping point in deciding if to call for the interview.

 

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