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Are Cover Letters Really Dead?

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You’ve probably been told that cover letters are USELESS these days. “Recruiters don’t read them!” “Hiring managers just throw them in the trash!” Well, that’s not entirely true…

“Cover letters are a very important part of your job search strategy,” said career expert J.T. O’Donnell, “especially if you’re doing a disruptive job search.”

A cover letter is an opportunity to explain why you feel connected to the employer, according to O’Donnell.

Look at it this way: employers are looking for people who “get” them, who understand them and why they exist. If you can explain that early on in the hiring process, you increase your chances of not only standing out, but also moving forward.

“A cover letter is an opportunity for you to share a story, whether it’s personal or professional, that explains to them how you’ve come to understand that what they do is better, faster, cheaper, stronger,” said O’Donnell. “As a result, you respect and admire them, and want to work for them. That’s what needs to go into a cover letter.”

However, if you have the wrong strategy for writing cover letters, it WILL end up in the trash and you WON’T end up moving forward in the hiring process. (If you want to learn how to write a cover letter that works, check out this course).

So, no, cover letters aren’t dead. In fact, they’re far from it. As long as you can articulate why you’re connected to the company in a disruptive way, you have a shot at standing out among all of the other candidates and, ultimately, getting the job.

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Ariella Coombs Ariella is the Content Strategist and Career Coach for Work It Daily. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.