Cover Letter Thoughts from a Hiring Manager

These tidbits about cover letters were shared with me today by a hiring manager – they may not always be true, but the information is good food for thought.  His musings:

  • He rarely reads the cover letter, but it is the first item he sees about a candidate so the document does form an impression.
  • Long letters are a negative, and rarely read.  Long cover letters translate into the inability to concisely convey one’s thoughts.  In the corporate word – clear and concise are two rules of good writing.
  • A “form” letter is a big negative.  Use your resume heading as a heading for your cover letter – don’t look like a generic offering. Make a positive statement with the look rather than blending in with the rest of the letters.
  • General statements make him stop reading.  “Strong organizational abilities” (blah) – be specific and relate it to the job…and provide a quick example to prove your claim.

Thought I would share.  As more employers come to campus to interview students, I will try to tap them for advice that can be shared.


About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Application, Communications, Cover Letter, Job Search, Resume and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Cover Letter Thoughts from a Hiring Manager

  1. linasouid says:

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  3. Lee says:

    Some managers don’t like them, but resume cover letters are considered basic business etiquette and although you might find some hiring managers that don’t read them, many do.

    I would err on the side of having one, and making it powerful and impactful. For those hiring managers that do read them, they are a great marketing tool for the applicant.

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