I’ve been getting a lot of letters from people who read my “Your Career” column on MSNBC.com and one of the biggest issues that keeps coming up is how important is a cover letter.
From the many human resource experts I’ve interviewed over the years the answer seems to be a resounding “it’s very important”. But what makes a great cover letter? You definitely want to toot your own horn, and also make sure the letter is targeted to the actual job you want. Sending cookie cutter cover letters to hundreds of job openings on Monster.com is probably a bad idea. HR folks say they can tell a form letter from one that has been crafted for a particular position.
So what else? Should you be funny? Should you print the letter on funky paper? I once printed my cover letter on red paper. (Ok, ok, I was 19.)
Do you all have examples of great cover letters or cover letter ideas?
Would a quote from a great philosopher help?
How about this:
“Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you break bread with indifference, you bake bitter bread that feeds but half a man’s hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
Hey, I’d hire him!
(And don’t forget, if you read my book From the Sandbox to the Corner Office and enjoyed it remember to write a review on Amazon.com.)