Cover Letter


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  • #653
    annapalooza
    Member

    Hey, I’ve only been the ‘fill out an application’ type girl so far, and I don’t know much about when cover letters are important. Is it something you would do when you send in your resume to NANA or Raytheon? And is it a very professional cover letter or is it a ‘i’d love the opportunity to go to antarctica, here are some reasons why I’d be useful” thing?

    Or is there no cover letter at all, HR filters through qualified people and then conduct interviews? Thanks!

    #6255
    m0loch
    Keymaster

    Since nobody has responded yet, I’ll take a stab at it.

    I’m sure that a cover letter won’t hurt unless poorly written. If you have specific skills or knowledge that you think may help put you at the top of the candidate list then by all means highlight these in a cover letter and include it in your application materials.

    As to what style….well, the hiring manager who ultimately reads this may be “old-school” and appreciate more formality or that person may like something a little less formal….it’s really hard to tell so I’d say just write it in your style.

    The real trick is getting your application materials through the HR screen-out process and I don’t think that a cover letter would really have any bearing on this. It is my understanding that once HR deems an applicant qualified then that candidate’s application materials are forwarded to the hiring manager who is then obligated to interview the candidate – so if you make it to this stage you will have an opportunity to highlight anything you wish that may make you stand out against the other candidates.

    #6256
    Ridgewood
    Member

    .

    #6257
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    I agree with m0loch and Ridgewood. There is a place in the on-line application process where you can attach a cover letter or any other supporting documents. It’s a good idea to have those typed-up and proof-read before you apply to the job, just so you’re not in a hurry. I don’t think it’s a requirement, and I don’t know whether it helps or not — but when I’m serious about a position I do a cover letter.

    My philosophy on cover letters is: If you’re going to submit one, do it professionally, be formal. RPSC managers know you really really want to go to the Ice, everybody does. You don’t need to emphasize that. Instead, I suggest using a cover letter to highlight your abilities as they relate to the job you’re applying for.

    And for the love of gawd, SPELL CHECK! It’s amazing how many people don’t spell check their resumes and cover letters. When I’ve reviewed resumes (for my own replacement on the Ice) any one with a glaring spelling error went right in the trash.
    :ugeek:

    glenn

    #6258
    MATKATAMIBA
    Member

    I think cover letters are important, but I have a slightly different take on them. I got through the HR screen and have had a phone interview. The hiring managers mentioned something in my cover letter so I know they read them.

    I like to make my cover letter less formal than my resume. I think it is a good way to introduce myself and explain in narrative why I think I am a good candidate. “Less formal” does not mean less professional, however. Short is very good – you need to have the letter actually be read, and if it is long or dense it won’t be. I like three paragraphs: 1)thanking them for the opportunity to apply, 2) connecting all the dots from my resume to present a logical reason why I am a good candidate, and 3) presenting any important relevant information that was not included on the resume (after all, our experience and abilities are not always neatly summed up by the jobs we have had). Because it will be printed out, format it as a letter, not an email.

    I don’t think it should be a begging kind of letter nor should it explain that you “really, really want the job” (although it is always good to express enthusiasm). It must be useful to the hiring manager and present new information or point out relevant professional experience that you want to emphasize.

    My two cents, anyway.

    #6259
    gracy67677
    Member

    The cover letter for resume is very important and should always be sent along with your resume. It is a way to introduce you and to tell the employer what you can do for them.
    Cover letters should be short and to the point. The cover letter should start with a basic greeting and the position that you are applying for. It should be nor more than 2 lines long. Address someone in specific. Never address your cover letter with “To whom it may Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madame” The second paragraph should be a brief description of your qualifications and describe why you think you would be a good fit into the company.In the end thank the employer for taking the time to read and consider your letter.

    #6260
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    I believe the previous post was made by someone trying to promote their web site. Acting as a moderator, I have modified the user’s signature to disable the hypertext link.

    glenn

    #6261
    Neutron
    Member

    @Sciencetech wrote:

    And for the love of gawd, SPELL CHECK! ….. When I’ve reviewed resumes (for my own replacement on the Ice) any one with a glaring spelling error went right in the trash.
    :ugeek:

    glenn

    And you didn’t even critique the problematic prose.
    I just love it when you do that moderator thing…self- promoting, hyperlink droppers beware!
    Hope all you mothers out there had a happy day.
    B.

    #6262
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Good on you Glenn.

    Thanks for that.

    All said, It is probably good advice that the poster is given. It makes little sense in the program as most of the applicants have no idea who will be looking at their application. It’s a little more difficult when you are required to apply online.

    I don’t think they read the previous posts.

    #6263
    spidey
    Participant

    Ooh, I got stung by the typed but lost reply syndrome.
    A cover letter is always a good thing. You may be a very good whatever, but why are you the best whatever for what you are applying for. If you don’t need to be the best, then its a different story. If the job is just looking for a few good people who meet general requirements, then a cover letter is probably not necessary. If you have a good set of skills but a few things that show why you can use those skills better, a cover letter is a requirement.
    Funny thing here in regards to a job at Raytheon…
    I have a decent resume for an IT job. I’m pretty good at some things, other things I know the basics but may or may not have the experience they need. I try to keep my resume up to date and descriptive, its two pages too long, but it does say what I can do and have done.
    I sent it in and before I had a chance to read the fine type it was registered and I had no chance to edit it or add any other information including a cover letter.
    Be wary of this, there is no going back on anything you submit.
    I put in another app later that was more taylored and had a very good cover letter. It is still in the “we haven’t looked at it category” meaning “recieved”, while I am hoping for an interview from the first try as it has been been forwarded to the hiring manager and is in the being reviewed stage.
    Moral of this? Its still your basic credentials and resume that give you the first shot. You have to show HR its worth forwarding your credentials.
    After that, the cover letter would be more important. Thats what might decide if they actually call you, or pass you bye. I understand they look at applications in groups and need to say yay or neigh on them and then after they finish with that group they get another batch. That says first in, best shot, but you still need to have the goods.
    If a job is important to you, I would take the time to write a good letter as to why you should get the job. How else can you tell them that the job is important to you, or that the fact that the combination of doing this and that, plus a few other things makes this perfect for you.
    Thats my scoop for Raytheon, but beyond that, if you look for hourly work, you may get by w/o a cover letter, but for a decent salaried position, an application w/o a letter will most likely be ignored.

    -Pete

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