Cover Letters—Don’t!! | No BS Job Search Advice

Cover Letters—Don’t!!

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Originally Published in 2002

Every day, people use the ease of email to send their resume to companies trying to hire someone such as recruiters and search professionals trying to identify people for assignments, or friends and acquaintances who might help them find a position.

They write a standard cover letter, attach it to their email with their resume and send it off.


What are the mistakes already made?


  1. This person has made two classic mistakes. First of all, they are using a “standard cover letter”. Cover letters should always be tailored for the particular position being applied.
  2. Instead of using a cover letter, use the body of the email message as a commercial for your experience to demonstrate the fit for the specific role.


For example:

I’m forwarding my resume to you in response to an ad I saw indicating that you were attempting to hire a software engineer (or whatever the title is). The ad indicated you wanted someone with the following skills:

  1. J2EE
  2. Struts and Spring
  3. Digital marketing experience

I have spent the past 4 years as a consultant developing systems for (name the companies) where I have worked with J2EE Struts and Spring

I look forward to meeting with you and discussing the position you have available.




Your name


Don’t you think a targeted message like this would help you get more responses to your resumes?


© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2002, 2009, 2016, 2021



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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