Writing A Cover Letter Blindly Makes You ‘No Better Than The Guy On The Corner Handing Out Leaflets’

That’s what headhunter Nick Corcodilos says.

In the latest edition of “Ask the Headhunter,” he writes that sending a cover letter to a person you have met is one thing, but writing one and attaching it to the resume you’re blindly submitting is likely useless.

If your mailing (whether via e-mail or regular post) is not addressed to anyone in particular—or is submitted to a name in a job posting—then it will wind up in the hands of the human resources (HR) department. The chances of its getting through the HR filter to the hiring manager are not high, simply because HR doesn’t understand the fine points of the work that you and the hiring manager do. (HR’s selection criteria are almost always different from the manager’s.) And the more details you spill in that cover letter to HR, the more potential reasons HR has to reject you….You might do some very thoughtful work on your letter, but the quality of a cover letter does not determine whether it gets read and whether it is understood. Success depends on whom you send it to, and on the method HR uses to process incoming applications. You have control over the former, but not over the latter.

Corcodilos suggests, as he often does, calling the manager you want to work for, instead. It’s not a practical suggestion for all people at all times, but it is definitely an alternative to “Please consider me for your open position…”

Publish date: May 18, 2010 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/writing-a-cover-letter-blindly-makes-you-no-better-than-the-guy-on-the-corner-handing-out-leaflets/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT