Another tip from Bob Snelling, CEO of ROSS-HR

Most companies do not want cover letters. Just take a look at any 50 job orders on the web and few will demand much less ask for a cover letter.  They don't have time to plow through any more paperwork than they have to. Cover letters are usually full of platitudes:

"Thank you for considering me; I'll look forward to discussing my wonderful background with you; I appreciate your taking the time to read my resume; If you don't call me in a week, I'll call you and pester the heck out of your secretary...etc."

or they overflow with self aggrandizing fluff:

"Self starter; work well with people; multi-tasker; proven track record... etc."

In many cases, they repeat what is in the resume only no where near as good.  Many are vague:

"I'd like a job in sales or in marketing or in management, whatever you have is OK with me...or...I'd like a job with a company that will train me, promote me (hasn't been hired and is looking for a promotion) and one that has good ethics and morals and is in a growth mode."

The reason most companies request a cover letter is to give them the opportunity to ask about what is not included on the resume... earnings or salary requirements or expectations.  You will find this request neatly slipped into the sentence that asks for a cover letter. 

If no cover letter is requested the email that contains the resume should usually contain the briefest of information: TO – FROM – SUBJECT (the job order title) - Resume Attached (as WORD document). Let the resume do the job it is designed to do... get you interviews. People pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for a resume designed to get them interviews, then defeat it with a long, say nothing blathering cover letter. 

There are two kinds of cover letters:  Specific & Generic 

    The Generic has two variations: 

  • No Job Posting - It is simple & basic, the goal being to get the recipient to read the resume. 

  • Job Posting with no cover letter request - Also very simple but addressed to the person or place of that job order. 

The Specific Cover Letter is tied to a specific job order that REQUIRES a cover letter. You should read between the lines of their request.  If they are using it as an excuse to get salary information, fine, indulge them but resist the effort to wax eloquent about yourself... and getting in the way of the resume.  In some cases, they are truly interested in your ability to express yourself, then by all means do so, but keep it to one page and try not to outdo the resume. 

Remember this, KISS...Keep It Simple Sweetheart…so as not to take away from the resume.  Keep your eyes open for an opportunity to allow us to teach you this vital skill.


February, 2006


   ROSS-HR, Inc.

Rober O. Snellling, Sr., President