Posted on 10 October 2010 by Eric Northam
We just started looking for a Superstar Bilingual Assistant to join our team which means I’ve begun the painful task of weeding through tons of resumes and emails from applicants once again. It’s a painful because it’s amazing how little people appear to want to be hired.
We (often meaning just me) may not even take a look at your resume if you don’t have a compelling cover letter. A good cover letter shows me that you can write well, that you’re interesting, you have a clue about what we do and how you’re a good fit for our team. Surprisingly most people consider a cover letter to be one or two sentences explaining that a resume is attached and that the they look forward to hearing from us. Sorry, not interested. Or I also often receive more than two sentences but in the form of a canned cover letter. Sorry but if you don’t have time to write a custom cover letter, I don’t have time to review your resume.
I have received a few wonderful cover letters. One was from a candidate I wouldn’t have considered based on her resume alone. Her cover letter made me laugh, showed that she clearly knew what we did and she gave examples of how she could help us. I phone interviewed and invited her into the office for an in-person interview even though she was missing one of the core requirements for the position. We didn’t end up hiring her but the cover letter got her the interview and I have her in mind should we have an opening in the future that is more suited to her skills.
The cover letter is the first impression you make. Make a good one and you’ll definitely get more interviews.
Also check out Forget the resume, kill on the cover letter for post by someone who also agrees about the importance of a great cover letter.