Career Calling

September 6, 2013

Specific Cover Letters

Normally I advise clients to use a concise cover letter that introduces their resumes and qualifications.  This goes against the “rules” posited experts who say that every cover letter must be unique.  Most employers don’t need the added information that belongs in the resume, not the cover letter.

A recent trend has altered my thinking to a small degree.  Some employers are asking job seekers to write cover letters that address specific questions.  In those cases, the cover letter must speak to that concern or you will not be considered as a candidate.  It is important to carefully read a job post to be sure that you are addressing its specific requirements.  If the employer asks for a specific cover letter, which occur in less than 5% of the job posts I’ve reviewed, your letter needs to be written to the terms of that job post.  Otherwise, you can use a template model that sells your value as a professional and pushes the employer to read your resume.

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