• Resume and Cover Letter - A Dynamic Duo

  • In today's job market, it is important to make a good first impression. Although you don't always need a cover letter, it helps to make a connection with the reader because it is more conversational and situational. It is also the place to communicate information that is not appropriate to include on your resume such as relocation and salary This article will show you how powerful the combination of a resume and cover letter can be when sent together.

    What happens when you send a resume without a cover letter?

    Pretend that you are a HR Manager in a busy Human Resource Department of a large product distribution company that has over 15 divisions on a large complex divided between four buildings. This company is always growing, has many different types of job openings, a fabulous website, and is constantly advertising for new talent. As you can imagine, the resumes that pour in by email, postal mail, and fax is overwhelming to say the least. Screening these resumes is a full time job in itself! 

    Now, a resume comes in over the fax machine without a cover letter. It is very impressive. The person has fifteen years of well-rounded experience that includes five strong positions in the areas of sales, customer service, billing and collections, events coordinator, and computer trainer. Wow, they can do almost anything! But what position are they looking for and why are they contacting the company? Are they exploring their options (cold-calling) or answering an advertised job vacancy (ad response)?

    There is no objective at the top of the resume (because the job seeker didn't want to "lock themselves in to one position) and there is no accompanying cover letter! Without the cover letter, the result is the same as a jobseeker showing up unexpectedly for a job interview. There are just too many unanswered questions. Who are you? What position are you seeking? How did you hear about us? Why are you interested in our company?

    Unfortunately, with all of these unanswered questions, the resume is going end up in the trash. A busy company just doesn't have the time to call a jobseeker to ask them what position they are seeking. Nor do they have time to figure it out. The only time it is acceptable to send a resume without a cover letter is when the company indicates "resumes only" in their ad. Otherwise, it is best to send a cover letter even when it is not specified to send one.

    Remember, the cover letter needs the resume and the resume needs the cover letter. Together they are truly a dynamic duo!  It is your first impression -- make it count!

    About The Author:
    Ann Baehr is a CPRW and President of Best Resumes of New York. Notable credentials include her former role as Second Vice President of NRWA and contribution to 25+ resume and cover letter sample books. To learn more visit http://www.e-bestresumes.com