Write A Great Cover Letter :
David seemed a bit concerned about what I had told Anthony. "If the technically skilled, experienced applicants are the prime beneficiaries of computerized data submission, what does that say to someone just graduating college, not to mention liberal arts major like me?"
"Computerized data submission is still worth pursuing," I told him Here's why.
There is little or no financial cost. Most databases and bulletin boards charge no fee to job applicants. Even if you don't have a computer, you can have access to such programs through the library and other sources.
It might help. Particularly worth considering are the bulletin boards that focus on your situation, such as career goal or recent college graduate status. There are many such sources. Both are under the aegis of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Harry, a seasoned professional seeking to change fields, added a comment and a question. "I can relate your answer to David to my own situation, except for the specific point about recent college graduate bulletin boards," he said. The other seasoned workers looking for a change nodded their heads in agreement. "Let me take you back to your discussion about scanning. If your cover letter is scanned into the computer, fine. But what if it is discarded?"
"Let's think about this together," I suggested to Harry. "There is never a guarantee that your cover letter is going to be read, even if a firm doesn't use a scanner. Because you haw developed a good prototype, the time cost of writing your cover letter is minimal. If it is scanned, you win twice. First, you may score more "hits" as the firm's applicant tracking system responds to a hiring requisition. Second, if you pass the first screen, your cover letter will be called up with its partner, your resume. At that point, whether your cover letter is read first or second is really immaterial,"
A limitation of these databases is their "one-size-fits-all" approach. You submit your data once and don't know where it's going. That precludes your addressing a particular interest in a specific employer--one of the advantages of a cover letter. However, the opportunity to boost your candidacy through your cover letter remains. The reason is this: Unlike paper resumes, what you submit to a database is not restricted to one page. Therefore, you can submit a cover letter and resume together, a file that will include some of the advantages of a targeted, paper cover letter.
Highlighting and reframing aspects of your resume : This gives you more chances to score hits at the computer phase of a firm's applicant search.
Your motivation for a type of job, company and industry can and should be stated.
Additional information, such as willingness to relocate, can and should be stated.
If you pass the initial screen, the employer will then take a look at your entire file. At that stage, the cover letter component of your file is likely to be read along with your resume.
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