An article from Open Colleges puts some interesting points of view forward about your cover letter. I’m not sure that I’d agree with everything said, but the whole poinit of these posts is to start a discussion.
I can tell you with certainty that when I look at a job application I START with the cover letter. I’m looking for three things:
1. Personality – a window into who you are
2. Research – evidence that you actually know what you are applying for, and who you are applying to. FFS I put my name on every job ad, and still 30% of applications will say “to whom it may concern”.
3. Errors – I can teach job skills, but I can’t teach personality and fundamental traits. I work with a very ‘hands off’ management style, so I need my staff to have great attention to detail – I can’t spend my life checking your work. So errors in your cover letter are a fast track to rejection.
Take a look at the Open Colleges article, and tell me what you think. How do you write a cover letter?