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JobSearchTV.com

Are Cover Letters Always Needed? | JobSearchTV.com

I answer this simple, yet important question. 

Summary

“Are cover letters always needed?”

No.

The history of the cover letter is really very simple. In days of old, like when I got into recruiting what seems like hundred years ago, you had one resume that you mailed to an employer or you dropped off at their offices as you went from building to building trying to find a job. Back then, a cover letter became a complement to that one standard resume and would talk about some of the additional things that you did had done that were relevant to that job. So, you might just simply have typed up a letter that you put on top of the resume or stapled to it. Or, you might say something politely like, “I’m forwarding my resume to you for the role of (fill the blank) that I saw advertised in (fill in the blank). I believe my experience with such and such and such and such would make be a viable individual for your organization). That was paragraph two.

Paragraph three was, “I look forward to hearing from you about next steps in the process,” or, if you were doing drop-offs that day because you have no idea if there was a job, you would do one of those your self-promotion type of things, staple it onto your it resume and use it is a sales tool.

Obviously, cover letters are not used for that purpose anymore and know if your background as demonstrated on your resume shows that you fit the requirement perfectly, you don't need a cover letter. However, few resumes do. So, why not use it is a sales opportunity to promote yourself?

Now, I want to be clear, you don't use a cover letter as an attachment with your resume. Use the body of the email like the old cover letter. What do you do you? How do you demonstrate the fit? It’s really very simple.

So, whether you are sending it to a recruiter or a hiring manager, you might start off by saying, “I am submitting my resume for a role that I understand is available in your organization for (such and such). My understanding is this is what you're looking for.”

In the left-hand column, you put a list of skills and, in the right-hand column, you indicate how long and how recently you used those skills, used those technologies or employed those qualifications. How long and how recently. If you don't have one or two of those items. You omit them from your list. Then, from there, you could conclude by saying, “as you can see, I matchup very strongly with the position and I look forward to hearing from you and meeting with you in the next week. If I don't hear from you I will put in a quick call to you . . . “ Something along those lines that ties the bow so that there is going to be a next step. But you use it as a sales opportunity, linking your qualifications with the role.

So, no, you don't need to use it; it is not a requirement that you use a cover letter. But since few people are submitting resumes that demonstrate a perfect fit, why not use the body of your email instead of using it as stupid whitespace, use it as a sales opportunity to promote yourself?

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest

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

show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or PrestoExperts.com (phone)

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers 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.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Join Career Angles on Facebook and receive support, ideas and advice in your current career and job.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

For more about LinkedIn, order “Stacked: Double Your Job Interviews, Leverage Recruiters and Unlock LinkedIn.”

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

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Is It Better If My Cover Letter Is Informal? | JobSearchTV.com


I answer this question posed to me through Quora.

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or PrestoExperts.com (phone)

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers 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.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

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

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

For more about LinkedIn, order “Stacked: Double Your Job Interviews, Leverage Recruiters and Unlock LinkedIn.”

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

JobSearchTV.com

Cover Letters That Get Results | JobSearchTV.com


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter tells you exactly how you can use your cover letter to make it obvious how you fit a job .

Summary

Let me tell you what the perfect cover letter can do for you and how to construct the cover letter that’s perfect. I want to be clear talk; I’m not talking about sending a separate attachment. No one opens a separate attachment cover letter. Use the body of your email as the cover letter.

So what the perfect cover letter will do will make it obvious to a six-year-old that you can do the job and this is exactly what you do.

What you do is, if you're responding to a job listing, you are taking the requirements of the position and copying and pasting it into the body of the email and then you’re going line by line, item by item and telling people how long and how recently you performed such a function and what you did.

So, for example, if you happen the work in IT and you are talking about being (I’m just taking something at random) an IT architect with a cloud orientation who programmed in such and such language coming up through the ranks and is operating on enterprise-level, you go item by item with that list of specifications (I’ll talk about cloud architecture), you might say you have three years of cloud architecture . . . Current Programmed in Java is the next line. 15 years of Java development experience as recently as nine months ago.

You go item by item and then, ideally, you give them a quick summary of the most recent t instance that you use that process a specific function or task in the list of requirements. Then, you go (if there's a description of what your responsibilities would be) you copy and paste that in as well. And, again, you go through this item by item in order to demonstrate (here, I am not going to talk about numbers of years and how recently) I just want you to provide them with a brief synopsis of what you did that relates to what they would ask you to do.

What you're doing by doing this is demonstrating that you can handle the job as THEY have defined it. Most people just send a generic cover letter that says, “Hi! I saw your ad for such as such for so-and-so. I'm the perfect person.” I got five of those yesterday and not one of them was even close to being the perfect person.

Don’t be foolish. Don't demonstrate right away that you’re immature. Make the fit obvious to a busy individual how capable you are and then, in your resume, circle back and make sure these points exist within the resume, especially if you are submitting it to an applicant tracking system.

You see, some applicant tracking systems will peel off the cover letter and not really look at it so you want to make sure this content that you would have in your cover letter is in your resume.

Is that a lot of work? Do you want to know what more work is? Sending 100 of the same resumes over and over again and expecting to get interviews. That's a lot of wasted work because, as you know, when you send out 100 resumes, what do you get? Two responses . . . Maybe. The reason you are not getting responses is that you are not demonstrating a fit. Following this model is going to get you a lot more interviews so that you don't have to send out a hundred resumes.

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or PrestoExperts.com (phone)

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers 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.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

For more about LinkedIn, order “Stacked: Double Your Job Interviews, Leverage Recruiters and Unlock LinkedIn.”

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

JobSearchTV.com

Job Search Mistakes: Being a Drone | JobSearchTV.com


Jeff discusses two examples of people who did not toe the line and what happened afterward.

Summary

There are these two articles I've seen recently that really spoke well to unconventional responses to unconventional situations.

The first one was a cover letter story. It involved an intern and the young man (and I know it was a young man) wrote to a senior individual at a fund or an investment firm in New York. It's probably a better way to describe them and what he did very simply was write a letter that basically said you know, " I know that I've gone to mediocre school. I had good grades with a bad school. You normally don't hire people like me. You consider people like me for internships. However what I'll do is whatever you want me to do. You want me to get coffee I'll get coffee. Want me to shine shoes? I will shine shoes… whatever it takes, I will do in order to get this opportunity." And he wound up getting hired for the internship and he's there and he is there now on full time staff.

So, what does this really say? Well, I'll give you another example. This one came from an article I saw yesterday on LinkedIn that Liz Ryan wrote and the article basically described the situation where a woman went for an interview. She's kept waiting for about 15 minutes. And, at that point, she's invited in to speak with H.R. and H.R. has a cup of coffee and doesn't offer anything. So she responds by saying, " Oh, coffee great! I haven't had a chance to have any today. Can I have a cup as well?" The H.R. person was kind of stunned and you kind of pointed toward the break room was where someone helps her with getting a cup which was the guest mug and things like that. Then, she comes back and she sits down in the room in the interview room with the H.R. person who then says, " You have 20 minutes. Impress me."

And the response that she gave was, "If that's what you want me to do, I'll just sit here and have my coffee and you can leave. BBut I have no intention of doing that."

So after a minute or two of a staredown, the person started to ask conventional questions. She didn't expect to hear back but did a day or two later from the hiring manager who said, "I heard that you had spunk. I like to talk with you."

There's a message that you should take away from here and I hope the one is they are looking for real people. They are looking for clones. And if they are, it's not good to be you. Do not conform to behavioral things that are going to subjugate you to torment . . . particularly on a first interview. If you're in a situation where you're trying to get an internship or trying to break into or for firm, taking a tried and true method is going to get you the tried and true results. Better to do something that makes you standout.

Also go the extra step of saying that if you're put in the situation of having a tormenting interview like this woman was offered up, the best thing to do is kind of slap it away because obviously you wouldn't want to go to work there anyway and get to the other side.

In her case, she was able to break down the resistance that the HR person had to we're giving a more typical interview and got invited on to the hiring manager. Maybe that works for you. Maybe it doesn't. But so what? It's like if they're not going to allow you to get any further because you're not going to be all performing monkey with an organ grinder there for them, trying to guess what it is that they want you to do in order to move on, that you are going to want to move on to the next person that you are going to want to work for their firm, better to just do something different and break down the doors in as gentle a way as this woman did and move on.

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or PrestoExperts.com (phone)

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers 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.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

For more about LinkedIn, order “Stacked: Double Your Job Interviews, Leverage Recruiters and Unlock LinkedIn.”

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

Cover letters that stand out

Cover Letters That Stand Out | TheBigGameHunterTV


I’m adding an extra twist to what you may be doing with your cover letter that will help you standout from the pack

Summary

Over the years, I've created plenty of videos about writing cover letters. I'm going to give you a quick rehash before I give you something new about them.

The typical cover letter might be in response to an ad.  It might be an introduction to a hiring manager.  The 1st paragraph should reflect that.

"I'm forwarding my resume to you because I was referred to you by Jeff Altman You told me you were trying to fill a position for such and such.  My understanding of the role is . . . You're looking for someone with . . . " You would then lay out in the left column what the skills were for the position (maybe you've seen a head or a job description that your friend has forwarded to you) and the functionality that is going to be performed.  In the right column, you would write down how long and how recently you can engage with it.

For example, flush left you would write

SOX compliance                                                                                                 5 years until 2015

User liaison                                                                                                         2 years current.

Manages people on-site and offshore                                                            3.2 years.  Current.

You make the fit seem obvious in this chart that you're creating for them.

Normally, I would say, "I believe you will see my background Matches up nicely for the role.  I look forward to hearing from you."

I want to encourage you to add an extra step in here.  That's the human touch.  This is a "miss" I want to acknowledge having had.  It is something I haven't encourage people to do often enough.

Like my advanced answer to the question, "Tell me about yourself," You might say something along the lines of, "I'm sure you see a lot of people and their resumes.  You say they have this background , but what makes me different is…" Then you going to some human characteristics that make you stand out.

Please don't say that you're hard-working or dedicated. Go to the humanity of the situation instead of the BS.  If you stay with hard-working or dedicated, people think to themselves, "Ugh!  Not again!"

The goal is to always differentiate yourself from others because if you are just another commodity, you're going to be paid a commodity's wage. If you are the best of the commodities you will be paid at the rate of the best of the range of the commodities. So, there's a range of salary; there is a law and there is a high.Yes, you will be at the higher point of the range, but so what?  You want to go past the range.  You always want to demonstrate that you are far superior to anyone that they say.

This does that by putting a human face on you, so that people can easily see how you stand out, instead of looking like another drone to them.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching?  Email me at [email protected] and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line and tell me about your circumstances in the body of the email.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers 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.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

 

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

JobSearchTV.com

To Whom Do You Address Your Cover Letter? | JobSearchTV.com


This is a trick question. Let me explain why.

Summary

On this video, I want to answer someone's question about cover letters. The question is, "To whom do I address my cover letter?"

I think of this is a trick question. That's because I have to ask, what is a cover letter in the age of email? If you are sending an attachment, if you think Anyone is going to open that file to read your attachment, you are kidding yourself. What we will read is the body of them by email And, as such, that is the home of cover letters these days.

The 2nd thing I want to point out is to whom you do you dress it? You don't know who you're going to send it to? You're going to send it to "the HR department?" Do you think you're supposed to address that, "Dear HR Department?" Do you know how many people work there?You send your resume to a major American corporation and address it that way? How many people do you think working HR at J.P. Morgan Chase for example? Or Boeing? Or pick the name of another large firm? Ask them who you are supposed to address it to! Don't just ask randomly like this question is. As for the name of the person is responsible for recruiting for the particular type of position.

Here is the next part of the trick.You shouldn't be sending your cover letter and resume to HR. You should be sending it to the hiring manager.You want to find out the name of the hiring manager who is coordinating the search for the position you want to apply for. You don't want to be sending it to HR. You don't want to be sending it to the applicant tracking system for it to review. You want don't want to do that because you put the data Too far back in the resume and gave it the idea that the experience that you have isn't current enough. You always want to be finding the hiring manager.

Don't know who it is? Easy. Find the kind of job it is, Get on LinkedIn, if you're not connected with the person who it is, go to www.li-usa.info. Search until you can find someone who is responsible for that function. Then, use a chrome extension called Prophet. Generally, it will return email addresses for people even if you are not connected with them on LinkedIn.

Again, that is www.li-usa.info and a chrome extension called Prophet. You'll get the email address to send your resume to them. To find that person, that is on you to find in figure out.. NEVER EVER apply for jobs doing applicant tracking system And, really, if you can avoid it, skip HR. They can decide who to reject, but they cannot decide who to hire.

No disrespect. I have known a lot of fabulous HR people but it is not their job to hire. Their job is to manage the firm's human resources. To translate, in this particular case, the recruiter Acts as an "screener" Not someone who hires.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers 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.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

Are you interested in executive job search coaching, leadership coaching or life coaching from me?  Email me at [email protected] and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line.

Three Cover Letter Rules | Job Search Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses three rules for writing cover letters you must employ.

Summary

I see cover letters all the time and people foolishly send them as a separate attachment. No one is ever going to open a separate attachment. They go right to the attachment that looks like it's going to be the resume.

They make the mistake of addressing it as, "Dear Human Resources Manager" or "Dear Recruiter," or some generic introduction like that. Don't do that.

Number 1, put your cover letter into the body of the email so that no attachment is necessary for it. Number 2. Don't address anyone. Once you are addressing it to do so and so and got out with a real person is and using a generic introduction, it gives the impression of it being a form letter. Don't do it.

Third, 3 paragraphs.

The 1st one is an introduction and explains why you are sending the email. The 2nd paragraph is to lay out what it is about your background that you fits what they are looking for. 3rd is you do a closing. The closing should be something along the lines of what you are going to follow up.

"If I don't hear from you I will give you a call the day after tomorrow to see if you might be interested in scheduling an appointment. Really very simple.

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.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com 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. NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Please give “Job Search Radio” a great review in iTunes. It helps other people discover the show and makes me happy!

If you are an executive who is interested in 1 on 1 coaching, email me at JeffAltman(at)TheBigGameHunter.us

JobSearchTV.com

Do Recruiters Read Cover Letters? | JobSearchTV.com


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


Summary

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.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com 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.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Great Cover Letters (VIDEO)

FROM THE ARCHIVES

In this video, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter Offers two different approaches to writing effective cover letters.

 

Summary

I want to talk with you about cover letters today because cover letters are 1 of those things are an afterthought in most people's repertoire and, frankly, they are the "grabber" of your speech.

Do you know what I mean by a grabber? If you are at a function where someone is going to give a formal speech, often, they are going to try to grab your attention, tell you a story, tell you a joke, tell you something that's designed to get your attention. A cover letter is really like that.

When I start off in recruiting in days of old, a cover letter was actually a cover letter. It was attached on top of your resume and mail to the recipient. I know it's hard to imagine people actually did that but they did. Today, were actually talking about a "cover email" but still: a cover letter. It is really the thing that should grab someone's attention.

How do you do that? How do you get someone to actually open that attachment and pay attention to your resume? The easiest way to do it is if you have someone who referred you to this individual. So, in that case, you would lead off with that right away. However, if you don't have someone you can point to (I am referred to you by Ramesh Patel. He told me were trying to hire someone for this role), what can you do?

There are 2 schools of thought to this. One is to be relatively brief and to the point. "I saw your position on such and such site. I noted that required experience with such and such things. I have more than 6 years of experience with each of those skills." Then he would talk about your role, responsibilities and accomplishments in a relatively brief manner. From there you would conclude by saying, "I hope to hear from you in the next few days about scheduling an interview or, barring that, I will call you with the early part of next week to chat."

The 2nd one which I think is very interesting is doing what I call it point by point. You have seen a job listing so you would copy and paste it into your cover email. "I saw your position on such and such site requiring this background. Here's what you do next. Next to each of the skills required for the position, you would write down how long and how recently you had worked with each. Using technology as an example, if they are listing J2EE background, "we are looking for someone with 5 years of J2EE experience plus 5 years of such and such and 6 years of such and such," next to each item you would indicate how long and how recently you work with each. See might write, "7 years of J2EE as recently as last week."

Next to the next requirement, you might write, "3 years of experience as recently as 6 months ago." Continue by going item by item with the job requirements and list how long and how recently you worked with each. From there, you might list the functionality of the position (each of the things that they would want you to do) and do the same thing next to each. This makes it very easy for them to see what the fit is like.

From there, you would wrap it up by saying, "I hope to hear from you soon about scheduling the interview. Barring that, I will call you later this week or early part of the next."

That makes it a very effective cover letter because you make it very obvious to them in the cover letter. Then you back it up with a resume that you have attached your cover email that, again, demonstrates the fit however, if your resume doesn't support what you said in your cover letter, they will start to scratch their head and asked themselves, "What gives here?"

Thus you have to tailor your resume to confirm what you told them in the cover letter is accurate. Together, they become a very powerful presentation.

 

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.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com 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. NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

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You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

 

What is The Best Way to Start a Cover Letter? | JobSearchTV.com


Questions like this make me crazy, but since someone needed an answer, here it is.

Summary

The question for today is, "What is the best way to start a cover letter?" I go crazy with questions like this because it is such a small point in someone's job search. But if this is important to the listener, I am happy to give an answer.

Here's what I would suggest you do, don't think of it as a cover letter:

Use the body of the email that you send with the resume attached to it as the cover letter. If you're going to be submitting it through an applicant tracking system, make the cover letter page 1 of your resume.

The best way to start a cover letter is simple.

"Unlike a lot of the resumes that you receive, I actually do have the experience that is required for the role. Let me show you how my experience matches up with what you are looking for."

Then, create 2 columns. In the left column, list of requirements and the functionality of the position as defined by the ad or by the person who told you about the position. In the right-hand column next to each item, list, how long and how recently you have used each of the requirements are performed the individual function.

Obviously, if you are just spamming your resume to a position, this won't work and frankly, nothing is going to work. However, if you actually have the experience and want to stand out from the pack, this is a very easy way to do it. What you will do is make the fit obvious to them so that even if a 6-year-old girl reading the resume they would know you have the experience to do the job.

Because they receive so much useless email and resume submissions, they will have a chuckle when they read the beginning of your cover email but, if you actually have the background, this will work.

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.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com 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. 

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”