I found this piece on cover letters from the same columnist who wrote the piece about how money doesn't buy happiness that Mark linked.
I think it's very good advice for people in our area. But I would empahsize point 8 - Follow up. Much of the time we aren't dealing directly with a potential employer. We tend to deal with recruiters. And recruiters tend to get a tsunami of information, resumes, whatever. A mere email will get missed a lot of the time. So I always follow up. This works better with recruiters than the writer indicates because recruiters almost have to be open. They have to return calls or at least take your call. Oh it's not an absolute but well more than 80% of the time. This was true even when I was a clueless newbie that nobody could place in a million years.
I vary my rhythms. Sometimes I call first to enquire whether I'm a good prospect. This can have them waiting for my email to come in. If I have a ton of attractive reqs to submit and little time to write cover letters I sometimes will write a very short custom cover letter followed by a call right away and essentially do the cover letter on the phone.
Both cover letters and callbacks can get you through the filter. In tough times the single most important thing is to get the recruiter to review your resume. In easy times this can get you into the hunt for the better jobs. Assuming you are qualified and timely (she hasn't already sent over the resumes) this will get you submitted most of the time. He'll ignore someone elses resume in lieu of yours!
I agree with you. We have to follow up after sending the resumes/cover letters. But unfortunately, when the person whom we are trying to reach is not available, we leave the message in his/her voice mail system. In most cases the recuiter will not reply to the messages. I understand that the recruiter will not have time to speak to every candidate.
In my case, I tried to reach a recuiter more than 5 times and emailed to him more than 3 times, but there was no response. Moreover,I am sure this recuiter has a requirement that matches my skillset.
I do agree the above comments....many times the recruiter collect all the info like experience, current & expected salary details and disappears. Sometimes i wonder whether they do really have job requirement.
I know most of them are java professionals here....can anybody mind to share their cover letter....I wonder how to write a good cover letters to get an interview call.
Anybody willing to post sample cover letter. Thanks.
Sounds like you hit one of the 20% this time. It's a little worrying but I've been doing this for a while and have only seen abuse once or twice. Once I had a recruiter submit me for a job only to discover that another recruiter whom I had never spoken with had already submitted my resume. In the UK some recruiters ask that you give them an email stating that you are appointing them your official agent for the purposes of this specific opportunity.
I always phrase this as narrowly as possible (for such a position discussed with me on such a date) and have not had a problem to date. The vast majority are polite in this respect and call to ask before using my CV.
In fact it's gotten to the point that I've posted my CV on jobserve and allowed them to read the posted CV. I have an eclectic background and some very interesting things have sought me out this way.
While I can't give hard evidence (since much of my job search takes place through Craig's List which is anonymous) but I don't get the feeling like I'm ignored by recruiters. In the last two months fo searching for example, I've added another 10-12 recruiters to my stable. I feel like they are very receptive to taking resumes--the good ones anyway, less so the larger firms.
I should note that I very rarely (<5% of the time) read cover letters when hiring candidates. I get 100 resumes for a position, I don't have time to read about each one (maybe firms with a dedictaed HR staff who can devote more time to the issue are different). I just glance at the resumes for 15-45 seconds each and sort into 3 piles: yes, no, and maybe.
--Mark [ December 11, 2004: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Mark Herschberg, author of The Career Toolkit
Hoo hoo hoo! Looks like we got a live one! Here, wave this tiny ad at it: