Well-Written Cover Letter Can Open Doors


Continuing to cite resume and cover-letter aspects of Alison Green’s excellent slideshow-style article on what hiring managers really want — in which each slide represents an article she’s written in the past: “It takes a lot longer [to individualize a cover letter] than sending out the same form letter over and over,” Green writes, “but a well-written cover letter that’s obviously individualized to a specific opening is going to open doors when your résumé alone might not have. These account for such a tiny fraction of applications that you’ll stand out and immediately go to the top of my pile. And I’ll give you an extra look, even if your résumé isn’t stellar.” Research we did for our white paper on cover letters indicates that while a third of hiring decision-makers don’t read cover letters, they are very important to others. As Green points out, a good cover letter can distinguish you.