Finding a job means finding your “right fit” – where you are the solution to the employer’s problem. You are conducting a marketing campaign – marketing your abilities, skills and track record toward the positions where you can make the most impact. So it makes sense to use marketing techniques.
A cover letter is your only opportunity to make the match between your skills and the job in question.
Think about it: your resume is about you and your past accomplishments (hopefully). You can and should optimize your resume for each job by using key words that are in the job posting and job description. That simply tells the ATS or human reader that you have the necessary qualifications.
Direct response is the marketing method that is most applicable to job applications.
Cover letters are essentially direct response vehicles – you want the reader to respond by giving you an interview.
In direct response, sometimes the longer letter performs better than the short one (meaning more people respond to it by giving money or ordering something). In my mind, the best cover letters are the ones that grab your attention, tell a compelling story about why you will be able to deliver results for the employer based on your past, and describe why you want to work for the company in question. We also want the reader to go to your resume to see your accomplishments.
If you want to show a recruiter that your past is a fantastic predictor of what you’ll do for the employer, you need to write a cover letter that presents that case. Click on the links below to see sample cover letters that got interviews – the desired response.
Sample Cover letter Innocence Network
Sample Cover Letter that Got Interview 2013 Rodrigo Gianesi via Compfight
Writing a cover letter does not helo your chances of receiving a response. This is admitted in job adverts when they say if you don’t hear from them you’ve been rejected, and do not mention anything about cover letters.
Dear John, your experience is far different than that of my clients and many other people. Cover letters do make a difference. It is necessary, yet still not sufficient. Having a contact at the company exponentially helps your chances of getting an interview. My clients who get an interview through networking are always asked for a letter or email that explains why they want the job – a cover letter, in other words. It’s about marketing yourself and clearly explaining why you are the right person for the job in question. So even if you aren’t asked for one in an advert, you must send one. Not hearing back from employers is the rule now – it has nothing to do with your cover letter – unless you don’t send one – especially when it’s requested. Good luck to you! Julie
As you said, the contents of your ideal cover letter are no different from a CV, and having a contact at the company/agency is the exception
Indeed, the rule is, as stated in most job adverts, if you don’t hear back from them within a certain period, you are unsuccessful. They never mention anything about a cover letter changing that.
In the end, there is no excuse for rudeness from employers/agencies
Hi John, I wish recruiters would get back to people who’ve applied! It’s tough not hearing about your application, especially when you put so much effort into tailoring your cover letter to the specific job and employer. Actually, an ideal cover letter is VERY different from your CV, because it’s making the match between what’s in your CV and what’s in the job description. It needs to make someone want to read your resume to find out more about what you’ve accomplished and the skills you have. Good luck with your search! Julie