From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

August 2012
« Jul   Sep »
Cover letters. Considerations more than meets the eye Consultants Input
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 10:47 am

It is an incredible experience to work with ACS Career
Consultants.  They are terrific resources for members.
That includes each one of us,

Recently, I received a question from a member met
at the Philadelphia meeting who asked the question:

Dear Dan,
I have one question about cover letter.  I want to
apply for three different jobs in a company, should
I write three different cover letters or I can just
write one and mention all the three jobs?

Thanks a lot!  Best wishes,

L [punctuation, spelling as in note]’


Hi L,
The application process is challenging for everyone
seeking a position.  Know that a cover letter is
for each application.

Language plays a key role in communicating.  Please,
no matter what you do, have someone who is a
native English speaker seriously review
all your
documents looking for clarity of thought, spelling,
format and punctuation.

To develop a response, I contacted several trusted
mentors for their considered opinions.

Joe Jolson:
I don’t think that L provided enough information
to definitively answer h(is)er question.  My
guess is that (s)he found the openings on a
Company website and intends to apply for them
through the/ company website without knowing
who the hiring manager(s) are.

In my response, I would suggest that (s)he use
the web and h(is)er network to find out who the
hiring manager(s) are
and obtain contact information
for them.  If they are three different professionals
and (s)he gets contact information for them, (s)he
should prepare three different cover letters and send
them out through the Company website
and by email
to the hiring managers.

Louie Kirschenbaum:
‘…If a student reigns a shotgun approach he/she can’t
write a targeted letter.  Getting more details about
the job is important
, even if the company lists only
one position…’

Rich Bretz:
If L has contact information for any of the hiring
managers, then contact him/her directly.  I must
admit that L’s message was a challenge to read due
to grammar issues
.  I suggest that L have someone
proofread any correspondence prior to sending.

Joel Shulman:
‘Depends on to whom the letter is going.  If there
is a centralized source for applications to the
company, I would send one cover letter referencing
L’s qualifications for each job
and expressing interest
in all three.  This would be my preferred route.
however, if the three openings have different addresses
and contact persons, I would write to each separately

and express both interest and qualifications for each.

L, there could be more to this.  Is there anyone in
your network who is associated with the company?
What information can the provide, or significantly,
can they offer a referral? 

My network has provided essential information that
I endorse.  It is critical that you have a full job
description for each position and confirm if possible
the ‘musts and wants’ to guide you in applying and
composing your cover letter.

Remember, just sending it in, not including
keywords, not being critically reviewed, nor
not showing a good match to what the company
needs, will not be successful– whether sending
in one letter or three.

We hope this is helpful for you.

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