If you are looking for a job right now (and many of you are) here are a few tips we’ve heard from recruiters about cover letters.
1. Don’t ignore them. Almost all recruiters read them and expect cover letters. So unless your resume is a 100% exact match for the job you are applying to, you will need a cover letter.
2. The job of the cover letter is to help the reviewer make the connection between the job description they posted and the experiences they see on your resume. Pull out those connections and make them obvious in the cover letter.
3. If you have a nicely formatted cover letter in a separate attachment to your email, chances are nobody will ever read it. So treat your email as your cover letter. That means good grammar, careful wording, and all of your contact information at the bottom in the signature.
4. Keep it short. Online attention spans just keep shrinking. Write in short sentences and bundle those into short paragraphs.
5. Deal with the obvious questions. If you’ve been out of work for a long-time, say why in your cover letter. Likewise if you are seeking to change industries, or looking to relocate. There is no chance that a recruiter is going to overlook the obvious, and not dealing with these points may get your resume sorted onto the “no” pile.