The Dirty Truth On How To Write A Cover Letter For A Resume Screener

LANDON LONG 1 Comment;

a cover letter for a resume is importantA cover letter for a resume is an essential part of netting yourself a hotly coveted job. A cover letter for a resume works as the first official piece of propaganda a prospective employer sees about who you are and what you can do. You need to go Stalin on these fools. Companies undoubtedly see countless resumes. The key is making a special cover letter for a resume that is exclusive just for you and speaks about you as an individual. The ultimate key is getting past those pesky resume screeners. These guardians act as the gatekeepers between you and that hot juicy job on the other side. Making it past these watchmen and women requires a deft handle on the finer points of writing a cover letter for a resume.

Resume screeners sift through all of the incoming applicants with a fine tooth comb. Even if they did this with a dull tooth comb, where would they even buy one, resume screeners are on the lookout for generic, boring or cookie-cutter resumes. A cover letter for a resume helps overcome this first hurdle by demonstrating that you have actually put some thought into applying for this job beyond going to Kinko’s, making a few dozen copies of your CV and tossing them at anyone who was hiring.

It is sometimes astounding how few resumes actually come with a cover letter, even when a job posting specifically lists a cover letter as a necessity. Usually these woefully unprepared aspiring hopefuls are callously pushed aside by the screeners. Don’t be like them. Having a cover letter for a resume is vital even if the position doesn’t call for it. The dirty secret is a cover letter for a resume is far simpler than you might have imagined.

A cover letter for a resume, first of all, needs to include an introduction. Essentially this sums up who you are and what you can do. Saying your name helps. Telling them where you went to school and where you worked before does too. Go into depth about how your past experiences have shaped you. This part is simply an annotated version of your resume. Give some more back story on what your deal is. If you had a really amazing job in the past that’s going to serve you well now sing its praises in this section on your cover letter for a resume. Just look at your resume as an outline to writing this section. Go point by point expanding on what you’ve been up to before applying to this job.

The second portion requires doing a little quick research. Just Google search who you’re applying to and make it clear that you’re actually aware of who you’re applying to and how you can fit in. This is perhaps the biggest thing resume screeners catch. Not having this portion might as well come with a label saying ‘I don’t care’.

The dirty truth to writing a cover letter for a resume is that it’s so simple so many people skip over doing it. Avoid being one of those. Craft an individualized cover letter for a resume that’ll beat the screeners.


To learn more about how to get an "unfair advantage" over your competitors, grab a FREE copy of my new resume course that can help you succeed where other job seekers have failed. Click here to discover my FREE, newly released Resume Rebel video series.


5 Cover Letter Writing Mistakes That Turn Recruiters Off

LANDON LONG 1 Comment;

cover letter writingRecent studies have shown that job recruiters, interviewers, and employers have very similar pet peeves about cover letter writing, and there are certain things that may alienate you and ruin your chances of getting an interview—or even getting someone to look at your resume for that matter. 

As you could imagine, it’s probably a good idea to keep these peeves in mind when fleshing out your cover letter writing.

Here are 5 cover letter writing mistakes that drive recruiters crazy.

1.  Letters Longer than 1 Page

Not only does is this a waste of a recruiter’s time, but it also might come across as a show of arrogance or maybe even an attempt to overcompensate.  Who are you to think you are entitled to send in a 2 page letter when everyone else just sent in the one?  Keep it short and to the point.  Some employers might throw out your cover letter simply for the reason that you didn’t have the discipline and common sense to keep it shorter.

2.  Wordy Letters

By this, I mean letters jam-packed with words and little space.  This can be a chore to read and looks disorganized and sloppy.  It comes across as unprofessional and cluttered.  The easier you make a cover letter to read, the more of a chance they will pick up what you’re putting down.

3.  Cookie-Cutter Letters

It can also irritate the hell out of someone who is staring at cover letters all day to see the same basic templates coming across their desk.  In some cases, this is an obvious case of everyone downloading the same lame resumes from the Internet and editing them.  In other cases, it’s just a lack of originality.

4.  Letters Without a Resume

Some cover letter writing “experts” actually recommend sending the cover letter in all by itself.  The supposed logic is that it acts as only as a “Teaser.”  A teaser?  Give me a break; you’re not trying to get into someone’s pants at the bar—employers don’t have time for games.

This is all business, and if you think they are going to go out of their way to contact you to get the rest of what is typically expected, you can pretty much expect not to get a phone call.  Don’t be a tease—aim to please.

5.  “Cute” Letters

While original can be nice, trying to be funny or cute can alienate a lot of employers, especially the ultra conservative “old school” types you find in some industries.  So save the lovey dovey talk for your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Some people just don’t want “fresh” and funny cover letters, so unless you have some kind of inside scoop or they gave the go ahead for outrageous originality, use your accomplishments to stand out instead of throwing your funny bone out on the table.

There you have it—5 little screw-ups you want to avoid like broken condoms.  The aim of cover letter writing is to state your case and ask for an interview—not annoy the hell out of them and have them slamming the door before you even reach for the knob.

You have any stories about idiotic moves in cover letter writing you pulled in a move to impress?  Break em out and give us all a chance to laugh at you (I mean with you).  Leave your comments below.


To learn more about how to get an "unfair advantage" over your competitors, grab a FREE copy of my new resume course that can help you succeed where other job seekers have failed. Click here to discover my FREE, newly released Resume Rebel video series.