Less Is More in a Cover Letter


Continuing our series excerpted from our new, free white paper, Cover Letter Reboot: A Crowdsourced Update of Traditional Cover-letter Advice for Today’s Job Search, which you can download here. If you prefer not to download, you can read the contents here. WhitePaperScreenshot.jpg In this part of the series, we asked hiring decision-makers what they look for in a cover letter. Each post over the next several days will reveal one decision-maker’s response: Less is more. Since a cover letter and resume is, in a sense, a first blush presentation of yourself, doing it poorly suggests you will be unlikely to present our company well if you can’t first present yourself well. Use the cover letter to let me know:
  1. Which job you are applying for. Often we have many openings, and I do not know which resume is being submitted for which job.
  2. If there is something pertinent I need to know, tell me (referred by a former employee, not able to start until May 1, etc.). If there is any personal connection, establish it (we met once at a trade show and you said, “if you ever need a job…”).
  3. Why are you applying? There should be a decent reason that of all the jobs available you applied to ours.
  4. If you have spent any time on our Website, with our catalog, or product, tell me. Those people almost always jump to the top of my stack if they have a decent resume.

— Grant DiCianni, president, Tapestry Productions Inc., Temecula, CA See all the parts of the white paper/Cover Letter Reboot package: Cover Letter Wish List: Hiring Decision-Makers Reveal What They Want to See in Cover Letters, Hiring Decision-Makers Cite Top Cover-Letter Mistakes that Disqualify Job-Seekers, and Cover Letters That Wowed: Hiring Decision-Makers Describe Winning Cover Letters.