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October 04, 2010


I love this post, Alexandra. Networking is always the best.

When I've done a cold apply, I've never been marked down because I've used a short, one paragraph cover letter. It is usually just a quick way of explaining why I'm applying for that job and if there are any unusual circumstances (like, if I'm relocating).

In short, I've written cover letters shorter than comments I've left on blogs (including this one). Elaborate cover letters are more of a gamble than a short one or none at all.


Great advice Alexandra. It's truly who you know that will get you the job. I think of sending out resumes and cover letters to people you don't know like throwing a dart at a dart board 100 feet away. Not likely you'll hit anything.

I also really like that you said in the information interview request to state you'd like to learn more about their career path and not ask about job openings.

I've given many information interviews. The people who most impress me come to the meeing prepared with questions about me, my career path, my position, the company, etc. rather than focusing on themselves and whether or not I have any job openings.

I always enjoy your posts.

I don't think you can say this rule is true across the board. I've hired candidates who I otherwise wouldn't have considered because they wrote such a great cover letter. Some hiring managers put a lot of value on a cover letter and some don't; you don't always know which you're dealing with, so I'd err on the side of including a cover letter.

Yes I agree with you! I don't like this cover letters concept, being a HR i always read the resume!

Agree completely Alexandra. Networking requires skills that are needed in the workplace...i.e..managing and navigating relationships, etc. Anyone can "write" a cover letter...and so much of the time what is written does not really reflect the candidate anyway. It really becomes a boring intro...


I found your blog and this article today through Linked In (Referral by Keith Warrick).

I found this post really relevant to my career and will definitely put these suggestions in practice.

Thank you,
Ankit M Patel


This is an excellent post. I often consult administrative professionals on the value of networking and meeting new individuals. More and more people get jobs by reaching out to employees within the organizations that the prospect has in interest.

A personal introduction is more valuable than a cover letter.

Great post.

Masterful, Alex. Including the expletive. On occasion in the past, someone I'd interviewed for a gig would say they'd like to see my "material." That was an announcment that there was not the slightest interest.

On the rare occasion that happens today, I usually comment something to point of "you've got to be kidding. Why would I want to send something that costs me time and money for you to toss in the circular file?" On several occasions that single comment has gotten gigs for me.

Circumvent the shit! Right on, Alexandra.

Alexandra ,,, i agree with you ,,, totally but in some situation ( right now i am replying for an add in Australia) , the svreening is done on introductory letter !!! cv ,,, and other criteria ( nationality). so untill you meet for an interview ,,,, the chances are very slim .... and something must be extraordinary : cold calling skills ?, writing skills? ,,, someone you know in the company ? something must stand out to get noticed and get the interview !!!

best regards


Cover letter is a must when it comes to major fortune 500 companies. In most cases they don't even look at your resume if you don't have the cover letter attached to your resume. I don't think its completely true either that cover letter shouldn't be used. Cover letters are used in most cases just to see how creative can a candidate be.

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