Q. Someone told me to only send resumes after developing interest from a prospective employer through a strong sell-in letter or phone call. Another person told me I didn’t need to waste my time with a cover letter, just send resumes. I’m confused. -AL
A. I hope no one is paying for that bad advice, but it seems to be catching on. Hiring managers report receiving an increasing number of long, wordy letters without resumes.
It is essential to send both a resume and cover letter, ideally by email. Some individuals also send a hard copy. If you opt for that approach, be sure to note on the letter that it is a copy of an already submitted email version. (Most people prefer electronic copies, although the back up hard copy shows additional initiative).
The cover letter should be brief–no more than a few short paragraphs. It must summarize the relevance of your experience to the position for which you are applying. Don’t overstate qualifications; let the resume speak for itself. If you are not applying for a specific position, simply express your interest in being considered for any appropriate opening within the organization. Per my earlier post, don’t include lofty goals or objectives.