Successful Job Seeking ? The Importance of Your Cover Letter

As an employer I receive many job applications each week. Some cover letters are so well written that I am compelled to review the attached resume even if our company is not currently hiring. I don't want to miss an opportunity to contact an outstanding individual. Other cover letters are sufficiently interesting that I will file them away and review them later in the week, while others simply beg to be deleted immediately.

What makes the difference? For me, there are three factors; understanding, argument and attention to detail.

Understanding. Here's what I am looking for. Did the job seeker spend time to find out about our company, our products and services and our markets? As an employer it's easy to identify the level of understanding of job seekers and classify them into three areas ? those who understand our company, those who have some understanding of our industry and those who have no understanding at all. I dispose of e-mails from this last group immediately. However, if the job seeker clearly takes time to understand us, I'll take time to read about him or her. As for the group in the middle? I'll usually take some time to read their cover letter, but unless they make a compelling argument with excellent attention to details they too, will be deleted.

Argument. Even if the applicant clearly demonstrates some knowledge of our company I'm still looking for a compelling reason why I should take time to review an accompanying resume. I'm interested in the applicant who clearly goes the extra mile ? one who understands us and persuades me to find out more. This is the type of person I want working for our company!

Attention to Detail ? Grammar and Spelling. It goes without saying that grammar and spelling are important. They are cornerstones of written communication. Since we are a client-focused company, every employee must possess good communication skills, both written and oral. I'm looking for well-constructed paragraphs and sentences, together with correct spelling. Details count.

Find more job hunting resources at

Bruce Sutton is president of Jobhawk Inc., an online job search site based in Toronto Canada.

Home | Site Map | Careers | Australian Domain Names | UK Domain Names | Investment Property | Sydney Web Hosting | Email Hosting | NZ Website Hosting | NZ Domain Names