Home > Contemplations > Cover Letters The Dreaded Aspect Of The Job Hunt

Cover Letters The Dreaded Aspect Of The Job Hunt

clipart typing
I am currently in the midst of applying for a new job and now that my resume is done – although it could always use a tweak here and a tweak there – now comes what I have found to be the hardest part: composing cover letters. See the resume is the relatively easy part because it is factual, hard data – I did this, I did that, I was educated here and there. The cover letter, however, is a much more nefarious foe. Each cover letter has to be written to conform to the actual job posting. You have to try and highlight the key words that people put in the advertisement/posting telling about the job and yet, at the same time, show in a way different from your resume that you are awesome and they should be hiring you without looking at anyone else’s applications or even calling you in for a meeting.

CoverLetter beginning in Word

Yes, that image is the actual beginning of my cover letter. Yes, I took the job name out. I don’t have one standardized because I have read that is one of the worst things you can do so I am writing it all from scratch. I have heard and read people opine that the Cover Letter should be dead and that it is an outmoded form of job application but no one has actually killed it yet so I have to write one. LinkedIn, when you apply for a job on the website has a place for you to upload your cover letter as well as your resume.

The one very important tip I learned recently for resumes and cover letters is to always save it as a PDF because that way your formatting will always stay consistent and won’t appear different on the recipient’s computer. I’m off to write the rest of this cover letter now…mainly because I don’t think the one and half lines I have is going to cut it. Wish me luck! (Also, any tips would be most appreciated!)

Clipart typing comic via Microsoft Office

  1. Keith
    December 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I disagree.

    • December 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Disagree about what aspect?

  2. December 10, 2011 at 9:25 am

    http://bit.ly/HBRcoverletter I often like to refer this article for the template, customized to my skills. It is short and sweet (after 15 years in advertising I can go on a bit : )

    Also, I only ever sent my resume as a PDF once – the recruiter explained to me why word.doc is much better… IF the position you are applying for looks likely popular, the posters will have a lot of resumes & cover letters to search & sift, so keyword search is how they do it – you can’t keyword search a PDF so yours might never surface!

    • December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Wow, that is something to definitely think about! Thanks for the input. Maybe I will include both, one for formatting purposes the other to be searchable.

      For the same reason I have heard it is a great idea to include a text only version of your resume/cover letter within the email you are using to apply for the job. Not sure how that would work for applying via LinkedIn though!

  3. December 12, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Very inspiring job seeking information! Cover letter is very crucial in getting an interview.

    • December 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks for the comment James!

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