Get Read: How Cover Letters Market Your Resume

Posted by Ryan Galloway

July 18, 2012 @ 10:57 AM

There’s no denying that a powerful, customized cover letter is a key piece of any job search. It’s often how a potential employer decides whether or not to read your resume. So how do they work?coverletters resized 600

Know your audience and find a balance.

Think of it like this: the cover letter is the advertisement for your resume. It needs to be short, effective, and memorable. You make an almost immediate decision on whether or not you're interested in a product or service when viewing its ad. Similarly, a recruiter or employer will make a quick decision about reading your resume while viewing your cover letter.

A strong cover letter will have all of the attributes of a great advertisement.  It should be as tailored as possible to its intended audience. If it’s too long, it’s an immediate turn off to a busy recruiter. If it’s too short, it may undersell you. A hastily written cover letter or one full of errors will give the impression that you’re not taking your readers’ time seriously.

No Pressure.

Obviously, there’s a lot riding on your cover letter. It’s your very first impression with hiring managers and recruiters. That’s why so many jobseekers dread writing them. “What,” they say, “if I get it wrong?”

TheLadders can help you get it right.