The Weekly Roundup: Writing a Cover Letter That Gets Results

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Cover letters are one of the most thankless parts of job search. They need to be perfect, but almost nobody reads them. Wait, what? Yes, NOBODY reads them. However, I repeat, they still need to be great.

When recruiters or hiring managers sort through applications you can guarantee your resume gets about 5-10 seconds before it is tossed into a YES, NO or MAYBE pile. Yes, 5 – 10 seconds and your fate is decided. They want to know where you worked and what you did.

If you pass that test, then maybe they will read your cover letter. Maybe.Some of you will ask if you even need a cover letter anymore. The loud and clear answer is yes. If you've worked hard networking, toiled over your resume, tweaked your LinkedIn profile and found the right opportunity, don't blow it on the cover letter. Keep reading and I will hand it over to the real experts who will have your cover letter buffed into shape in no time.

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How to Write a Cover Letter
The simple, straightforward title from Harvard Business Review downplays the wealth of information and guidance on assembling a top-notch professional introduction. They take an in-depth look at each important piece of a cover letter and roll out some definite do's and don'ts. The real insight comes from two case studies with HR experts spelling out exactly what worked and what fell flat in two different job recruitment scenarios.

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Is Your Cover Letter Read-Worthy?

Your cover letter might be the last thing the recruiter reads so it better be good. Not just good, but great and targeted specifically for each job. U.S. News & World Report walks you through all the finer points of catering every cover letter for maximum impact.

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5 Tips For Writing A Killer Cover Letter
From how to perfect your opening line to the critical and compelling final sell, Brazen Careerist gives five razor sharp insights on crafting a great cover letter. Plus, they reveal the secret "you" versus "I" formula that puts the company's needs first.

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3 Ways to Write a Cover Letter That Actually Works
Nobody likes to write cover letters, but PayScale feels your pain and offers relief. They dish up three ways to make your cover letter stand out and add to what you've already detailed in your resume. Tell a story. Solve their problems. Write it to be read by man AND machine. That means action keywords. Got that? Good.

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6 Real-Life Cover Letter Blunders To Avoid
Don't let your cover letter be the one thing that trips you up on the way to a new job. Careerealism will help you sidestep a minefield of opportunity crushing mistakes. Professionalism and brevity are key. This is not the time to make jokes or write a novel. Keep it short and smart. Look sharp and get one step closer to the job you want!

What is your cover letter strategy? I want to hear your ideas. Weigh in with your thoughts in comments below.
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