Past Issues

June 06, 2016

Does Your Cover Letter Get an A or F? Here's the Test

Sponsored: Maximize your exposure and find a job faster

The internet has changed the way that employers search for new employees. The latest numbers tell us that over 1.5 million employers & recruiters search various career websites daily for job candidates. That means to get those employers and recruiters to see your resume, you need to be on all the top career websites as soon as possible.

Why not let Resume Rabbit instantly post your resume on up to 90 job boards? Within minutes you'll be seen on, CareerBuilder, America's Job Exchange, Dice & more. Resume Rabbit's quick & easy online form will save you over 60 hours of research and data entry. Maximize your exposure and go to Resume Rabbit today.

Sponsored: [VIDEO] Here's how to create a winning cover letter

A perfectly-written cover letter can be more important to your job search than your resume! Update your approach and get your phone ringing off the hook with more quality job interviews and job offers faster than you could ever imagine.

Stop writing cover letters the hard way. 'Amazing Cover Letters' helps you quickly and easily crank out a killer cover letter that is guaranteed-to keep your phone ringing. With just a click-of-a-button, fill in the blanks and in just 3.5 minutes out pops a brilliantly worded and perfectly crafted cover letter - 100% customized for you. Land hot job interviews and top job offers - without writing one word, by going to The Amazing Cover Letter Creator.

Does Your Cover Letter Get an A or F?

Anish Majumdar, Career Strategist & Certified Resume Writer

Many proclaim cover letters to be outdated in an era of digital communications and ever-shortening attention spans. Yet even a cursory look at what top-level professionals are actually putting out there reveals the truth: reports of the cover letter's demise have been greatly exaggerated.


Because hiring is a fundamentally human endeavor, not simply a mindless match-up of skills to experience, and a resume leaves precious room for the person behind the qualifications to shine through.

Some call it a cover letter. Others a value proposition letter, or an intro letter. But the core goal remains the same: make a powerful connection with the reader, and compel him or her to bring you in for an interview.

Here's A 3-Question Test For Determining Whether Your Letter Is Helping Or Hurting You:

Question #1: Is It All Killer, No Filler?

Start by answering the question, "How will you help me or my company?" in as few words as possible. Provide just enough context into what you're currently doing to make the next few bullet points, all quantifiable, make sense. Exit with a clear action (will follow up within two weeks to...).
There should not be a single sentence in this letter which doesn't either a) establish credibility, b) demonstrate real VALUE, or c) communicate PASSION for the job.

Question #2: Is It Impressive To EVERYONE?

Confidence isn't filling your cover letter with industry jargon; that just comes across as trying too hard. Consider the fact that an enormous percentage of total readers for your letter will have ZERO hands-on understanding of what you do, or what's necessary to do it. These people need to be blown away by you as much as anyone else.

Boil what you do down to its essence. Think about the larger scale impact of your actions. You didn't just create a new network infrastructure and guide teams in maintaining and upgrading it. You established the technical foundation for $90M+ in new annual revenues and a growing, coast-to-coast subscriber base.

Question #3: Is Its Purpose Clear?

A letter like this can really only have two purposes, and a common mistake is trying to cater to both. Purpose #1, you are writing a "general" intro letter about your strengths and achievements in a particular role (CEO, Director, and so on.) and why it positions you to deliver great results for a company. Purpose #2, you're responding to a job posting or some other notification about a position that has opened up.

General Letter:

Hone in on 2-3 key aspects of your value, and structure the entire letter around them. Concrete results can radically transform impact- list metrics briefly (34%+) and try to highlight the RESULT first, followed by details on how you pulled it off.

Specific Posting:

The secret sauce for answering a job posting is the content of the posting itself. Closely analyze and highlight the industry keywords, skills and qualifications they most desperately need to address (which you have). Now frame the letter from a POV of addressing these areas. FIT IS EVERYTHING at this stage - skip creativity and make it blindingly obvious that you're the best person for the job.

Anish Majumdar is a Career Strategist, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member in good standing with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) and Career Directors International (CDI). He specializes in helping high performers land 6 and 7-figure positions that tap into their key strengths. To learn more about Anish, visit his website.

Subscribe Now

Search Our Site

Recommended Tools