When sending a cover letter with your resume, there are a few things to keep in mind in order for it to be an effective job application tool.

First, always address (email) your cover letter to a specific person.  Always.  If you can’t find the name of the hiring manager in charge of the position you’re applying for, address (email) it to someone else in the company and ask them to please forward your letter and resume along to the appropriate employee.  Always open the email with Dear [NAME], and avoid “To Whom It May Concern.”

Always include your cover letter, or a brief summary of your cover letter, in the body of your email.  You need to sell yourself and entice the hiring manager to want to know more about you (read: open your attachments).  Simply telling them that your information is attached is not enough.  They don’t know you; what if your attachment is a virus? What if it takes too long to download?  It’s your job as a job seeker to make them want to know more about you.

Generic cover letters are very easy to spot.  Customize each one to tailor the position you are applying for.  But C-Suite, all of the positions I’m applying for are for an administrative assistant. True, but they aren’t all for the same company.  Mention some core values you share or admire for each company.  Google the company and research any recent, relevant news.  It’s definitely more work and it’s definitely more time consuming, but in the long run, it’s definitely worth it.

Never ever, ever send your resume and cover letter to yourself and BCC multiple hiring managers.  Of course, you’re saving yourself a great deal of time by not having to compose each email individually, but when it shows up in our inboxes as To: [Your email address] From: [Your email address], we know what you’re up to.

Hiring managers will correlate the amount of work and effort you put into getting the job with the amount of work and effort you’ll put into the job once you’re hired.

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