Ethically speaking, I don’t feel right charging for resume evaluations. It feels predatory and just doesn’t fit with my sense of right and wrong. That said, this policy encourages questions. A ton of them! Here are the top questions you’ve always wanted to know about cover letters but been afraid to ask. If you’re interested in resume writing fundamentals – begin with this article.
Do I need a cover letter? Yes. And no. At least 75% of the time, it WILL get thrown away. But I also see a fair number of job ads that request them. It’s always possible that the HR Manager posting the job is simply trying to make you jump through hoops just to see if you can follow directions. S/he may even throw away the cover letter that you’ve so thoughtfully written, but at the end of the day, demonstrating that you can read, interpret requirements, and follow through is important. They may only read the first sentence…so make it count.
Reason #2 you need a cover letter? Because I can guarantee that a good portion of your competition will be too lazy to write one. Do you really want that job? Then you better bring your “A” game and SHOW UP TO PLAY.
Reason #3 you need a cover letter? 1 out of 4 of us read them. We love them and can tell a lot about a potential applicant through their written communication skills. We read between the lines and learn a ton about a person based on their ability to coherently write a paragraph. And please use punctuation! (One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see a cover letter or resume written as one long sentence. Note to Millennials – do not write your cover letter or resume as though it were one very long text.)
Reason #4 you need a cover letter? To control your own story because people will (in general) think what you tell them. Have you have heard the term “sheeple?” It is what happens when you combine the words “sheep” and “people.” At the risk of offending my readers here, most folks are sheeple. The cover letter gives you a chance to be in control of your narrative. No one else. So, don’t follow anyone else and tell your own story.
If you feel like gambling, go ahead and don’t send it in. Take your chances. But be prepared for someone else to swoop in and take the job out from under you.