En Route: A Career Blog

Should You Do This With Your Cover Letter?

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY:
POSTED: January 18, 2013 at 7:42 am

Recently, an article ran in the Huffington Post entitled Brutally Honest Wall Street Cover Letter Gets Lot of Attention From Bankers.

The story concerns an undergraduate finance student who is seeking employment in a boutique investment bank. Unlike other candidates (the article states), this individual was totally up front about NOT having “unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities”.

Apparently, the hiring managers found his approach refreshing and he was invited to interview by at least one company. Here’s his letter:

 

brutally honest wall street cover letter

So what does this mean to the average job seeker?

My advice is – don’t duplicate it. Surely by now hundred, if not thousands, of other individuals have thought to do the same, hoping it would get their resume to the top of the stack. It worked in this instance because it was unique. However, hiring managers and recruiters soon tire of novel approaches and go back to the tried and true – what can you do for my company?

A Cover Letter is Your First Chance to Impress a Hiring Manager

Don’t waste it on gimmicks. Don’t apply for positions you have no chance of getting because you don’t meet the qualifications.

In a cover letter you should:

  • Dovetail your qualifications to the position’s responsibilities so you appear to be the perfect candidate.
  • Clearly state what position you’re applying for. You’d be surprised how many candidates forget to do that.
  • Tell the hiring manager about you – don’t waste their time explaining to them what their company does or makes. They already know.

Always Tailor Your Cover Letters

Never send the same one to numerous companies. Even if the jobs are similar, you need to personalize each letter with the position’s responsibilities and how well you meet them.

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