Be unique, but not foolish. If everyone else is only sending their resume to jobs banks, make sure you do hard copy. Dont get cutesy with your cover resume letters - dont put your picture on it, dont send a video, dont tweet, etc. Be professional. Writing resume cover letters is what this article is all about. While HR plays a vital role in recruiting, hiring managers tend to really not care how they got the resume. They just want the good folks to come to work for them. My goal is to help inch that door open with techniques and tricks of the trade and show you how to make connections in companies where you know no one. Help you understand how most organizations work when it comes to employment practices. How to get past HR, how to get a hiring manager to fall in love with your resume by writing cover letters that are proven, how to avoid drowning in a sea of resumes.
Cover resume letters need to tell your story. When you submit a resume to an HR Department, the people who are looking at the resume already know what they are looking for. Managers and HR people have met, discussed and honed the skills needed for the job. Using cover resume letters can help make them understand why you are the employee of choice. But you must use a cover letter judiciously and with great precision. It could be your one time shot to make your point.
Cover resume letters are often times the only page a recruiter looks at - if it is weak. They wont move on to the resume if the cover letter stinks so here are few things to remember: First, and most importantly, do not re-write your resume. If you resume is weak and you think you need to strengthen it dont do it in the cover letter. Re-write the resume. The best resume cover letters in the world cant cover for a poorly written resume. Second, always use a separate cover letter for each company and each person within the company. Tweak it for the audience and company. Using tools that are specifically designed to create custom resume cover letters can help you focus on that key audience.
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Make sure in the close of your cover letters you let them know you will be following up. It is very difficult get through to most HR departments in todays world. HR people are swamped. If you can get through on the phone, follow up and tell HR you are following up because you told them you would. If you cant get through on the phone, follow up the old fashion way - a letter. You would be surprised how few letters HR gets anymore. Because of that, they typically read those they do get. This goes for hiring managers too.
Know the company that you are addressing and highlight it. Use all of the resources available to know the company and what they do. The internet is an obvious tool, but dont forget the library or trade groups as being good places to do research on the company so you can incorporate your knowledge into your resume cover letters. Make sure in one sentence or less on your cover resume letter, you show them you know a little something about them. Use the first couple of lines to tell them who you are, what you bring to them and why you would fit in with their company. Keep it very brief. You need to use this cover letter as a bullet point document so they are interested in learning more. The first page piques their interest, the resume tells the story, the interview closes the deal.