Punctuated Equilibrium


Christopher Carr

Christopher Carr does stuff and writes about stuff.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar RTod says:

    I am ashamed to admit after reading all of this all I want to do is give you different advice about how land a job.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    When I worked at the restaurant, I had a manager who worked for a year on the floor of the stock exchange. He would constantly yell at me about the resumes he’d get for folks who wanted to work the floor or the kitchen or whathaveyou.

    “Back in New York, it was one page! White paper! Not ‘Bone’! Not ‘Ivory’! Not front and back! One page! If it didn’t conform, we threw it in the trash because we didn’t want to hire anybody who didn’t know how to make a resume! Look at this! We’ve got a 19-year old girl applying to work the counter with a two-page resume on blue paper! How in the hell does a 19-year old get a two-page resume???”

    He quit. Last I heard, he was selling those cds that you put in your washing machine so that you don’t have to use as much soap.

    Anyway, this ain’t about me.

    When it comes to cover letters, you want them to do one main thing: everything the resume fails to do. The resume is where you need to follow pretty much all of the rules without deviation… let the letter contain your voice. Be personable and memorable and have the reader say “this sounds like someone I’d like to meet!” If there’s a pile of resumes/cover letters, you want to make sure that your cover letter puts you in the review further pile and the best way, I’ve found, to do that is to stand out. Be You.Report

  3. Avatar NoPublic says:

    I hate to agree with Jaybird but…

    Your resume is the nutritional label on your product.
    The cover letter is the box art and labeling. It’s your elevator speech.
    You want to sell yourself in the letter and display the foundation of that pitch in the resume.Report

  4. Avatar patrick says:

    +1 to Jaybird and NoPublic’s note.Report

  5. Avatar tom van dyke says:

    As a headhunter, CC, I will say that cover letters are skimmed, not read.

    A viable candidate must be a) interested and b) qualified. Where you tell them your interest in the work and in the organization is great. However, you cannot assert you’re qualified: that’s up to their judgment. All you can do is state your qualifications. Hence any sentence that asserts you’re qualified is filler, if not arrogant or naive.

    Also, the purpose of a cover letter is to get an interview, not get the job. One cannot try to get too much done all at once. Keep it lean and mean, interest and qualifications only: no self-assessments, which only sound needy or solipsistic. Best o’luck.Report