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Is the cover letter still useful?

3 October 2022

According to Dorie Clark*

A cover letter and resume are essential to your presentation, as they provide an opportunity to tell the world who you are, what you do and why you are qualified!

Before writing your cover letter, we strongly recommend that you do not overlook the strength of your network and the power of social media:

If you go through one of your contacts who knows you well, you will be even better positioned.

The same goes for headhunters, who will represent you to the future employer at your true value.

The cover letter becomes superfluous, because there is nothing better than a trusted intermediary to play the role of your ambassador, your coach and your mediator with your future employer!

Be aware that employers now go far beyond your resume and cover letter to make up their minds about you before they meet you.

Social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram for example, become easily accessible platforms to learn more about you, your interests, how you express yourself and your opinions.

Take care of your image with judgment, even if your goal is to target your personal contacts. The real break between professional and personal life is getting thinner and thinner with social networks.

That being said, it is still plausible that the employer you are interested in requires a cover letter attached to your CV as part of the recruitment process.

Here are some tips to help you write it well and stand out from other interested candidates.

  • Write an essay that demonstrates why you are the right choice for the job:
  • This cover letter is a chance to sell yourself. So start with a catchy phrase that shows your passion for your area of expertise;
  • Demonstrate that you have done your research on the company, including the similarities between your values and the culture of the target company;
  • Explain why your experience makes you the ideal resource for the position by including concrete and relevant examples;
  • End with a polite conclusion thanking the person responsible for the recruitment and don’t forget to mention your availability preferences.
  • Building your letter and making it readable:
  • Enter your name and contact information at the top;
  • Add the name, first name and title of the person responsible for recruiting and the company’s contact information;
  • Start with a greeting to the hiring manager;
  • Insert 3 to 4 lines explaining your experience relevant to this position;
  • The last paragraph is your last chance to say why you are really interested in the position;
  • Be sure to sign off with your first name, last name and professional title (if applicable);
  • Optimize the structure of your letter:
  • Body: Your first paragraph should explain who you are and why you are interested in the position. The central part must prove that you are qualified. The last section is used to explain why you are the ideal resource for the position;
  • Font: choose according to its legibility and professionalism;
  • Font size: set it between 10 and 12 points for easy reading;
  • Bullets: use them to separate descriptive points and to increase their visibility;
  • Avoid: special characters, colloquialisms and a letter longer than one page.

Before submitting your cover letter, we recommend that you read it aloud and check for spelling, grammar and typos.

*Dorie Clark: a business thinker, a communication coach, a teacher for executive and business education in Universities, a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, a former presidential campaign spokeswoman and a consultant for clients like Google, Microsoft, and the World Bank.

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