Things have changed since the days of old and now hope someone questions whether recruiters actually read cover letters. Here is my answer.

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The question for today is, "Do recruiters read cover letters?"

The answer is: Not if you send them as a separate attachment.

I'm looking to pop open the cover letter sent to me as an attachment. However, if you send it as a "cover email" (you know, using the body of your email to communicate what would have been a cover letter to lay out a case for yourself), then you have a chance of my reading it. However, it has to be clear as to what it is you're attempting to communicate about your background and how it fits the role, including for.

I'm not going to read, "I'm forwarding my resume to you because I understand you're trying to fill a position for a such and such. I believe my background with such and such, coupled with my driving determination would make me a strong person for your client." I'm not going to read that nonsense.

Here's what I want to read:
I want to read something that takes the requirements of the position and sticks them in the left-hand column in the right-hand column. I want to see how long and how recently you perform that function. If you want to include what the tasks of the job are, I would like that, too. That's because what you're doing is using the cover email to make a case for your candidacy instead of sending a bunch of fluff.

No one wants to read fluff! After all, you're not selling anything. You just saying a bunch of garbage.

Use the body of your email to lay out a case for yourself in the way that I suggested and then you have a chance of people reading it.

Not just name, but corporate recruiters at agency recruiters, as well.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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