I was literally in the middle of writing a long article for Dumb Little Man that pertained to my method of choosing applicants for an open position I have. As I got half way done typing, one of our company recruiters sends me an email with a PDF containing a dozen or so resumes. I am happy that we are making progress on my job opening but after opening the attachment I was less than impressed.
11 of the 12 resumes had cover letters which is actually pretty good because if you skip that step, you simply look unprofessional. The problem is that they all of the cover letters looked exactly the same and had the same message.
” Blah, blah, blah very qualified and a good fit into your company…blah, blah…”
There was nothing at all that made me want to read the resume. It’s unsettling because the last thing I want is an “ordinary” salesman. I want to hire someone that stands out a little and the cover letter is your one chance to make a connection with someone you may never meet.
It actually irritated me enough to put together this list of close to 100 tutorials, examples and resources on writing cover letters.
- Career Services at Virginia Tech: Several solid samples including e-mail letters
- Microsoft Cover Letter Templates: Surprisingly, these templates didn’t make all purpose template list here, but it should have because it contains 46 cover letter templates.
- Alyson Doyle’s Contribution to the Resume Center at About.com: Another 30+ samples of cover letters with specific samples for a handful of positions.
- U. of Missouri – Columbia College of Business: 5 good samples and templates
Remember that once your leave your resume with someone it’s the only thing representing you. There is no shiny star on your resume indicating that you are better than the rest. You have to convey that message and a well written, thought provoking cover letter is something very simple to implement.