Written Posts

Your Cover Letter Is Your Resume

3 Comments 10 March 2009

I was recently asked by a friend for some recommendations in looking for a job and what I look for when reviewing resumes. With all my social media involvement this past year, I would have thought LinkedIn or some other online advice would come to my mind first. But that was not the case.

The first question I asked my friend was about his cover letters. Just like his standard stock resume, he was using a standard stock cover letter. Now, from my experience in multi-family if I get a good cover letter (or get one at all) I definitely take more time to read the resume. If the cover letter is specific to J.C. Hart then I can almost guarantee that person will get an interview.

Why is this important to me? It’s important because if someone takes the time to write a custom cover letter for my company then I know they are serious about a career and not just looking for another job. What I really wonder is why this is so rare? In today’s tough job market or really anytime it’s critical to explain why you want to work for a company. Your resume doesn’t do that, and a stock cover letter is just whipped cream on shit.

So then I got to thinking. Uh oh, stay with me. If I have a LinkedIn account that gives all my basic resume info and a cover letter is so important, then why not just send a cover letter out to prospective employers. Most likely you’re posting a resume online or emailing it, so why not just send a really great cover letter that has links to all the other information the employer needs to know. While I’m not looking for a job, I put together a sample cover letter/resume that I could tweak and customize as needed. I left it generic for this exercise, but I hope you can see the potential and how it tells a better story.

Let me know if you think I’m nuts, if you like the concept but think my letter needs work, or if you think I’m on to something. I’d love to hear that too. Thanks and enjoy your day!

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