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The Nuts and Bolts of E-Cover Letters


BrainDayReport.jpg The white paper Findings of 2010 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the Now, the New & the Next in Careers notes that “e-letters a continuing to replace traditional cover letters as electronic messages have become the dominant method of business and job-search communication.” Further explanation and how-to:
Although designed with the same objective as a traditional cover letter — to introduce the job-seeker and incite interest in the resume (and the candidate), e-letters have a few important distinctions. First, the e-letter is contained in the e-mail message and not sent as an attachment. Of even greater importance is the physical layout of the e-letter; namely, the critical content of an e-letter must be above the scroll line (just like in a newspaper when journalists want their stories above the fold line). Understanding that, you can now appreciate another big difference between the [traditional cover letter and the e-letter]. E-letters are very short and direct, becoming more so with each passing day.
We have not found the preference for e-letters to be universal; some hiring decision-makers still prefer a letter as an attached Word document. It’s best to ask the employer for submission preferences if they are not spelled out in a job posting or on the employer’s careers site. The brainstorming day was held in December 2010 by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, publishers of the white paper.