Those Dreadful Cover Letters!

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Comments (39)

Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania

21 months ago

OK. I understand the importance of a great cover letter. But in today's world when one is forced to apply to many, many different places, it does get difficult to be creative and form an individual letter for each position. Do employers really read these? Do you find it a relief when you only have to send your resume when you see a job posting? Let's face it, it's really hard to fill out a long application and create a wonderful cover letter, KNOWING you won't even get a response back.

Does anyone else find the design of a cover letter a huge chore after a while of job searching?

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

they get LOTS 0f people applying so at first they just look at resumes.
if they like your resume THEN and only then they will take a look at your cover.

i like covers because a resume is JUST very rigid and business like. My cover can explain who i am and make me come across more human.

like for you in your cover you could state that you were laid off at your last job. that explains that you weren't fired, you didn't just quit, etc.

it makes you more human and fills in details your resume can't

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

and once you write a really good cover after that you just can tweak it for future jobs

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Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania

21 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: and once you write a really good cover after that you just can tweak it for future jobs

I do that. I never thought to include a little about my layoffs. I do agree it's a chance to come off as more human, but from where I sit, I don't even think my resume is getting looked at by real people.

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JD in Yerington, Nevada

21 months ago

Cover letters are rarely looked at anymore, at least by employers in Northern Nevada and California. They want to see the resume, and that's it - if a cover letter is attached, they don't read it. Granted, there are some career fields (primarily administrative) where a cover letter is still seen as "good form" - but that doesn't mean it's going to be read.

Rule of thumb I get from employers and my fellow employment counselors: Don't include a cover letter unless the job posting specifically asks for one.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

JD in Yerington, Nevada said: Cover letters are rarely looked at anymore, at least by employers in Northern Nevada and California. They want to see the resume, and that's it - if a cover letter is attached, they don't read it. Granted, there are some career fields (primarily administrative) where a cover letter is still seen as "good form" - but that doesn't mean it's going to be read.

Rule of thumb I get from employers and my fellow employment counselors: Don't include a cover letter unless the job posting specifically asks for one.

i would include a cover, especially for small and med size businesses. they still are old fashion. but just remember the more you send (resume and cover) the more ERRORS you could have.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

JD in Yerington, Nevada said: Cover letters are rarely looked at anymore, at least by employers in Northern Nevada and California. They want to see the resume, and that's it - if a cover letter is attached, they don't read it. Granted, there are some career fields (primarily administrative) where a cover letter is still seen as "good form" - but that doesn't mean it's going to be read.

Rule of thumb I get from employers and my fellow employment counselors: Don't include a cover letter unless the job posting specifically asks for one.

I think I have written two cover letters in the last ten years. You are also seeing the resume starting to go away. Many places actually say they don't want it.

Other places, allow you to upload your resume but then have you input the information all over again so the computer can read it. If you think a "real person" is actually reading your resume, you are kidding yourself.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

maybe 50 percent of the companies don't look at covers but i still think a large majority do.

if your clever with your writing your cover can set you apart.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

and anytime a company says either fax your resume to us or mail it. that's an old fashion company who still likes cover letters.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania said: I do that. I never thought to include a little about my layoffs. I do agree it's a chance to come off as more human, but from where I sit, I don't even think my resume is getting looked at by real people.

You'd be right. My sister works for the school district which very seldom has openings. They had one part time admin with benefits position open, a few months ago.

They got over 1,000 applications. The online app "read" them all and spit out the Top 20.

Look, the same technologu which allows you to find a size 14 pair of purple bowling shoes in a matter of minutes is the same technology that companies use to find just "the right candidate".

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: maybe 50 percent of the companies don't look at covers but i still think a large majority do.

if your clever with your writing your cover can set you apart.

Next time you are in the library, walk over to their discard pile. I bet you can buy a Killer Cover letter book for a buck now.

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Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania

21 months ago

JD in Yerington, Nevada said: Cover letters are rarely looked at anymore....Granted, there are some career fields (primarily administrative) where a cover letter is still seen as "good form" - but that doesn't mean it's going to be read.

Rule of thumb I get from employers and my fellow employment counselors: Don't include a cover letter unless the job posting specifically asks for one.

I am applying for admin. jobs, so I guess this is why I am getting overwhelmed with the request for cover letters and finding it so cumbersome. If I would get just one call, then I wouldn't feel it is such a waste. I have always been told by professional friends and former colleagues that my resume was really good, but like I am finding out, it may not be passing through the software that is being used out there. I'm just plain tired of it all and I haven't been unemployed all that long in comparison to what I am reading here on the boards.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania said: I am applying for admin. jobs, so I guess this is why I am getting overwhelmed with the request for cover letters and finding it so cumbersome. If I would get just one call, then I wouldn't feel it is such a waste. I have always been told by professional friends and former colleagues that my resume was really good, but like I am finding out, it may not be passing through the software that is being used out there. I'm just plain tired of it all and I haven't been unemployed all that long in comparison to what I am reading here on the boards.

A resume is most effective when someone you know, hand delivers it to someone who has the authority to hire.

Anything else, is like putting it in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean.

At some point its not your resume = its just a numbers game.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

JD in Yerington, Nevada said: Cover letters are rarely looked at anymore, at least by employers in Northern Nevada and California. They want to see the resume, and that's it - if a cover letter is attached, they don't read it. Granted, there are some career fields (primarily administrative) where a cover letter is still seen as "good form" - but that doesn't mean it's going to be read.

Rule of thumb I get from employers and my fellow employment counselors: Don't include a cover letter unless the job posting specifically asks for one.

Bu11sh!t. Ads may not ask for cover letters but that does not mean one should include one.

For example, cover letters are expected for legal jobs. I needn't enumerate the reasons. Not including a cover letter for legal jobs is sure to cause your resume to be discarded.

The only HR person I would trust once said she will scan a cover letter and then look at the resume. If the resume interested her she would re-read the cover letter more closely, reviewing it carefully for typos and grammatical errors, among other things. This person is a nationally recognized resume writer with years of experience in aviation and HR. She knows what she is talking about - unlike your fellow employment counselors and employers. You are doing your clients a grave disservice if you are peddling the same "advice" your fellow counselors are peddling.

Include a cover letter. The employer can decide if he/she wants to read it. Do not make that decision for them.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Bu11sh!t. Ads may not ask for cover letters but that does not mean one should include one.

For example, cover letters are expected for legal jobs. I needn't enumerate the reasons. Not including a cover letter for legal jobs is sure to cause your resume to be discarded.

The only HR person I would trust once said she will scan a cover letter and then look at the resume. If the resume interested her she would re-read the cover letter more closely, reviewing it carefully for typos and grammatical errors, among other things. This person is a nationally recognized resume writer with years of experience in aviation and HR. She knows what she is talking about - unlike your fellow employment counselors and employers. You are doing your clients a grave disservice if you are peddling the same "advice" your fellow counselors are peddling.

Include a cover letter. The employer can decide if he/she wants to read it. Do not make that decision for them.

This may just be your industry. Cover letters are going the way of ivory colored resume paper with matching envelopes. I am sure that some HR people still advise this as well.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

Oh, I would submit other industries, such as engineering, accounting and healthcare expect cover letters too. Media would expect cover letters.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

Also aviation. Also consider that some automated application systems leave space for cover letters. Surely they would not expect candidates to past in a cover letter if the systems didn't provide that space. Ya think?

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Also aviation. Also consider that some automated application systems leave space for cover letters. Surely they would not expect candidates to past in a cover letter if the systems didn't provide that space. Ya think?

Actually I do "think". I design interactive web pages and front end systems, all of which have various and sometimes devious ways of getting information from you.

Without taking you through the sales funnel, the next time you "upload" your resume and then have to fill out the same information, all over again, you might just understand the process better.

By the way, nice resume paper. Which old library book recommended that?

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

I don't care what you design, Bluetea. Your remark is nonresponsive to my point about cover letters.

Moreover, FYI, I have "uploaded" my resume and have filled out the same information, all over again, so I understand the process.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: I don't care what you design, Bluetea. Your remark is nonresponsive to my point about cover letters.

Moreover, FYI, I have "uploaded" my resume and have filled out the same information, all over again, so I understand the process.

Okey, okey. I stand corrected. Send cover letters. Responsive enough?

I am the only one to be hired without having sent one. Heh!

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

LOL yeah, whatever, Bluetea. I understand these automated app sites are keyword based.

Don't pay attention to this garbage about not sending cover letters,folks. Include them. You will not be penalized if you do. The employer can decide whether to read them.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

Unhappilyunemployed in Pennsylvania said: I never thought to include a little about my layoffs. I do agree it's a chance to come off as more human, but from where I sit, I don't even think my resume is getting looked at by real people.
Perhaps not at first if you apply through an automated system, but a person will review it eventually, after it survives keyword or whatever screening.

IMO unless you were laid off by a company that laid off many people in your area and even if the layoffs made the news, I would hesitate about mentioning it in a cover letter. Any type of termination is a negative and would give an employer an excuse to exclude you. Employment is now an exclusionary process; it's not longer inclusionary. You could explain your layoff at the interview, if asked.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: i would include a cover, especially for small and med size businesses. they still are old fashion. but just remember the more you send (resume and cover) the more ERRORS you could have.
So have someone with good language skills help you proof your materials. Problem solved.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: LOL yeah, whatever, Bluetea. I understand these automated app sites are keyword based.

Don't pay attention to this garbage about not sending cover letters,folks. Include them. You will not be penalized if you do. The employer can decide whether to read them.

Keyword based systems are also somewhat out-of-date. Today, they are field-weighted but since you dont' care what I do, I won't bore you with the details.

Suffice it to say, that as expensive as these systems are, they don't actually read anything. Also, Mildred in Personnel retired a few years ago.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Keyword based systems are also somewhat out-of-date. Today, they are field-weighted but since you dont' care what I do, I won't bore you with the details.

Suffice it to say, that as expensive as these systems are, they don't actually read anything. Also, Mildred in Personnel retired a few years ago.

what is field weighted.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: what is field weighted.

What are your salary requirements?

$30,000 +5
$60,000 -5

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

how does it match existing skills to job requirements.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

Blue,

I need your help.

On my home computer when I save a resume on my flash drive there is no PDF file type to save it to.

I actually can read PDF files since I have PDF reading software on my computer.

What do I need to download resumes in PDF format.

You owe me one for being your sideman.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: [S]ince you dont' care what I do, I won't bore you with the details.
Please don't.

And you are still avoiding the cover letter issue. Again, I've encountered online systems that provide a field to paste a cover letter, if I so desire. That implies to me that it would be a damn good idea to paste in one.

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: Blue,

I need your help.

On my home computer when I save a resume on my flash drive there is no PDF file type to save it to.

I actually can read PDF files since I have PDF reading software on my computer.

What do I need to download resumes in PDF format.

You owe me one for being your sideman.

You can read PDF files because of Adobe Reader. What you cannot do just yet is create a PDF file. You need some software for this.

If you have MS Word, it will do it. Google how to create a PDF file. There are many pieces of software that will do this and they are free. A PDF file is created either on the Save As or when you export.

Going to work now. Be back later.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

Oh, and I just thought of education as a field that would expect cover letters. Especially academia. Administration has been mentioned. C-level management openings would expect cover letters.

I would imagine, Joe, that many sales jobs, such as ones selling tangibles such as medical equipment or durable equipment, require cover letters and, at some point, a sample presentation (that the employer will rip off from you without hiring you).

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Please don't.

And you are still avoiding the cover letter issue. Again, I've encountered online systems that provide a field to paste a cover letter, if I so desire. That implies to me that it would be a damn good idea to paste in one.

Yup! Great idea. Let do it. Er, when's lunch.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

So please explain why these fields are there.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

Blue,

It worked. Your a friggin genius! I went to Word and did it there by downloading the file. Yippie. Hurrah.

Thanks.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

Hey Big Guy,

I like cover letters. It can't hurt to send it, right?

I'm sure there are HR people, especially the big fortune 100 companies that never look at them.

And if they do, the first time they take a look is at the actual job interview where they might quickly glance at a hard copy that the secretary printed out along with the person's resume.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

In the interest of fairness, search Indeed for "recareered." Then browse to "Is your cover letter an ineffective and obsolete tradition." Then browse to the article.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

21 months ago

Thanks again Blue.

Your so smart.

Must be all the reading you do.

Thanks!!!

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

And, Joe, yes, some HMs do not read cover letters until the interview. It happened to me. I attended an interview that resulted from me applying through an online system. However, I had printed out copies of my resume and cover letter for each HM. One of them was reading through the copies I gave her during the interview.

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Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

21 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Bu11sh!t. Ads may not ask for cover letters but that does not mean one should NOT include one
Corrected.

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