Resume and Coverletter Game

Subject: Resume and Coverletter Game
From: Judith Eisenberg <judith -at- CORP -dot- AUSPEX -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 10:52:42 -0800

Please excuse the formatting of this if it looks funny; I get the digests.

I am a hiring manager and have hired people based on their cover letters,
or at least I interviewed them based on these letters. I am particular
interested in reading cover letters when potential applicants are changing
careers, which is often the case for tech writers. If I don't see tech
writer experience on the resume, but the cover letter explains they've been
training for a career switch, I often call them. Without the cover letter
explanation, I'd never consider calling.

Incidentally, I have posted an opening in my department on this list, so if
anyone in career-changing mode wants to apply, I'm happy to read your cover
letter and resume.

=======================================================================

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 12:54:08 -0800
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Resume and Coverletter Game

At 08:09 PM 2/4/99 -0000, stark vision wrote:

>I have spent countless hours preparing my resume and a cover letter,
>(by email and registered snail mail) only to revive no reply. Yes, I have ...
> made every attempt to grovel...Should I now stop and send just a resume?
>
>It seems to me that courtesy and manners seem to illude
>those that are doing the hiring...
>As a former manager I answered "all of the responses to a
>posted posistion." I wish ...

First, a comment:
It's hard for a job applicant to send a resume into a black hole from
which no acknowledgement escapes. I know this to be true. But as a
hiring manager, I often find myself constrained by corporate policy.
When I've asked whether resumes have been acknowledged, I often get,
"No, it's not our policy to acknowledge resumes." My hands are tied.
So, while I sympathize...

Now, a question to the group:
You ask whether you should stop sending cover letters, and I freely
admit that I stopped years ago. Upon reflection, I've concluded that
in all my years of hiring tech writers, I've never seen a cover
letter that's convinced me to interview a candidate despite the
information (or lack of) on a resume. However! I have seen numerous
cover letters in which the writers say something really dumb and
shoot themselves in the foot. If I had seen just the resume, I
might have interviewed them. Based on the cover letter, they don't
have a snowball's chance...

So I'm asking the other hiring managers out there, have any of you
ever seen a cover letter that has influenced your interviewing decision
positively? And what percentage of cover letters do you view as being
positive, neutral, and negative?

Based on what I've seen, a job applicant is better off without a
cover.


-Sue Gallagher http://pw1.netcom.com/~gscale/susanwg/
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com http://www.expersoft.com

The _Guide_ is definitive.
Reality is frequently inaccurate. --Douglas Adams

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