Advice Corner: Nobody reads cover letters

It’s an unfortunate 2 pronged byproduct of today’s society.  Hardly anyone reads cover letters.  Why?

  1. Due to short attention spans, hiring managers go straight to resumes.
  2. Due to the ease of copy/paste, most candidates don’t write cover letters that are specific to the job.  It’s just generic speak that does not have any relevance to what the potential employer is looking for.

In fact, a cover letter can do more harm than good.  Let’s say an employer is looking for apples.  But your cover letter is all about oranges….?  You won’t get hired.

Let’s say an employer is looking for apples, and your cover letter says that you are both apples and oranges.  Sounds like a great fit, right?  Wrong!  The marketplace is competitive.  There are 100’s of other people that also have similar qualifications as you.   Employers have their pick of the crop.  So there is a very real chance that they are only interested in people that are apples and only apples.

So how are you to know?

You don’t.  Your claim to be both apples and oranges?  Just got you pushed to the bottom of the stack.  That is…if they even read it.  So don’t send a generic cover letter pretending to know what an employer is looking for.  Chances are it won’t be read.  And if it is read…it may do more harm than good.