Cover Letter Lessons from a 6-Year-Old

Susan Hall

Though there are opposing camps on whether cover letters are required, it's best to read the job ad carefully and send one if it's mentioned.

 

One of the "yes" camp, Jenson Crawford, director of engineering, at Fetch Technologies wrote:

Without a cover letter, the candidate is counting on me to infer - in just a few seconds - how the experience on the resume is related to the company's needs. The cover letter is invaluable in helping me understand how the candidate's experience is a match.

From the "no" camp, Joe Kanegiser of talent firm Q Connects wrote:

Our impression from hiring managers is that they are not reading cover letters. We are more in favor of short email introductions that succinctly highlight a candidate's strengths and weaknesses in relation to the job opportunity. We also strongly advise candidates to add a detailed technical skills section to the top of their resumes.

Either way, you have to write something and be specific about the position you're seeking and why you'd be a good match. A post at 6FigureJobs.com points out how a cover letter by a 6-year-old hits all the right notes. It published the handwritten letter by young Sam Pointon, who wanted to become the new director of the National Railway Museum in the UK. His letter:

Dear Mr. Tucker,

 

Application for director

I am writing to apply to be the new director of the National Railway Museum. I am only 6, but I think I can do this job. I have an electric train track. I am good on my train track. I can control 2 trains at once.

 


[Signature]

Advice from the article:

  • Eye on the Prize - Follow the company or industry in which you want to work to find the perfect position for yourself.
  • Networking - Use your network (or online research) to determine the specific person who will make the hire. It's important to get your resume into the right hands.
  • Clear intentions - Don't make the reader guess. Help him or her see immediately how this application is relevant.
  • Acknowledge Challenges - Being 6 is one, but provide supporting evidence about how your skills and knowledge make this irrelevant.
  • Display confidence - Show that you know you can do this. It suggests using a blog or social media outlet to showcase your knowledge.
  • Ask for it - Ask for the interview. Take the next step. Young Sam failed to do this, and he didn't get the job. But he was named the museum's Director of Fun. Click through to see his winning smile.


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