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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boomers:Does Creating A Killer Resume Cover Letter Make A Difference?

   As an older skilled worker (Boomer) searching for a new career it can become overwhelming as you try to determine what the correct cover letter tactic should be. There are various opinions on whether resume cover emails or letters can make an impact. The reality is a cover letter sends a message to a hiring manager and/or Recruiter that you are focused, purposeful and diligent.  So can it really hurt? What do you think? (comments below)
The problem often is that we just find it difficult to allocate the time or initiative to write a different cover letter for the 100s of jobs we apply to. So for those that still feel a cover letter is impactful you can now save time creating brilliant cover letters that catch the reader's attention. (Editor's Note)

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    1. As a Recruiter, I could care less about a cover letter. I have roughly 5 seconds to scan a resume for what I'm looking for and then about 15 more to read it if I see something I like. Resumes should be an accurate representation of your skills and accomplishments. I'd spend more time on a quality resume than a wordy cover letter.

    2. Like most problems, the problem has to be defined first, then a solution developed and executed. The problem for any job seeker today is not the resume or their cover letter. How can that be true? Consider there are 27 million unemployed Americans. Almost half have been unemployed for over a year. What do you think they have been doing all that time? They have all sent resumes and cover letters to every job posting they believe they have a shred of opportunity to qualify for and unsolicited to companies they have heard of or looked up in a directory. How has that worked?

      There are no doubt the resumes the unemployed have sent range from what they were able to create on thier own to high priced professional resumes and cover letters. The results have been the same and the practice is still the same. The decades old practice of create a resume; send a resume and wait for results is a broken practice. The evidence is overwhelming. The reality is the wrong problem is being solved.

      The problem every piece of resume advice, tips and website is that they are solving the problem of what is the best looking resume. The conclusion is that by having one the job seeker will get a job. It just isn’t so.

      The problem every job seeker is trying to solve is to gain a sustainable job. The solution is for the job seeker to know what they have to offer, what companies fit with their background, skills, education, experience, abilities and their personal qualities that make them an organizational culture fit with a company.

      That is just the first step. They must know how to find those types of companies, conduct in depth research, contact individuals within companies via telephone, establish a bit of rapport, learn about the company, what are the challenges in the area where they would work, learn who the hiring manager is in that area and call them.

      Beyond that they have to know how to talk with these people so it is productive and how to get an interview. They must learn how to interview and how to properly prepare for an interview. They must know how to present their credentials regardless of their level of employment so they respond to the specific challenges the hiring manager is trying to solve, showing their abilities will help solve them.

      They must know how to properly set up an offer negotiation, accept or reject the offer and how to productively prepare for the start of their new position.

      These are all skills that are not taught in any school or university yet they are critical for any job seeker to gain the sustainable employment they need and desire.

      Learning bits and pieces of these skills is not good enough. There has to be a complete exposure to the entire process and learning each skill. They are very learnable for any job seeker at any level of employment.

      That is the right solution to the right problem to be solved.

    3. I agree with Kerin. As a recruiter, we simply do not have the time to read through every cover letter that comes with ever resume. The only time that I typically read a cover letter is if I have questions after reading the resume. The cover letter can be a great place to explain gaps in your employment history or that you are making a career change and how your skill set and experience is transferable to the position that you are applying for.
      If you feel that you need to include a formal offer letter, it is paramount that it be extremely well written. If you are not careful, it can hurt you much more than it can help you. A poorly written letter can show off your weaknesses as much as it can show off your strengths. I would rather receive a well written resume with no cover letter than the same resume with an average to poorly written cover letter. A cover letter can set you apart from the rest, but just not always in a good way.

    4. Your cover letter is the double-edged sword that allows you to both individualize yourself and your place at a prospective organization
      Job Application Cover Letter Template

    5. In my eGuide I show actual cover letters that got interviews and explain, step-by-step, how you can create your own equally effective cover letters. The eGuide is described at http://ejobcoach.com/find-a-new-job-eguide/ but, please, realize that you also have to have a "Killer" Resume and know how to Interview to get the job. That's why I call these three parts of any job search the "Critical Stages" because each dependas on the other. The "Killer" resume depends on the Cover Letter, and the Interview depends on how well the first two have been crafted if you want to be called in for it. I guarantee all this material on a no-questions-asked money-back basis.

    6. If you are planning to relocate and are currently job hunting from another city or state, it is important that you clearly state your intent to relocate in the near future. If possible, it would be most beneficial to obtain a local address prior to job hunting. However, if that is not possible overcome the employers' fear with this type of statement. http://financial-news-today.blogspot.com/2012_03_01_archive.html

    7. I usually do not send a cover letter. My resume is formatted with a career summary section which address most of the key words in the job I am applying for. if they like the summary the resume continues with job history and brief bullet point to drive the message home. I usually get pretty good responses.


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