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Big mistake for jobseekers: overlooking the cover letter

Covers often required even for senior positions, so be thoughtful

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Nov. 9, 2018
By William Ehart

A cover letter is like a first impression: Make it good, or you may not get another chance.

Imagine this scenario: A recruiter or hiring manager stuck at a desk, whittling away determinedly at an inbox full of applications, comforted by the knowledge that the proverbial “round file” is a flick of the wrist or click of a mouse away.

Now—what did your cover letter say again? How much time did you spend on it? You wrote one, right?

“When decision-makers are looking at a lot of different applicants, at some point they are looking for reasons to move names into the ‘no’ box,” said executive recruiter Philip Jaeger, lead consultant in Isaacson, Miller’s association practice. “A thoughtless cover letter is an easy reason to do that, even if your experience is excellent.”