Always Include Cover Letters When Responding Online

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Tip of the Day

If you’re using a job board like, say, Dice, always include a cover note or introductory paragraph when using your saved information. If the “apply now” button takes you to the company’s website or an application form without a designated space to introduce yourself, merge a short cover letter into the top of your resume before pasting it into the resume builder.

If a strict format’s being imposed, customize your profile and summary toward the company and position, include links to your online portfolio and profile, then email your cover letter directly to the manager. Cross-reference your online application in your email and attach another copy of your resume.

Remember, the cover letter gives you a chance to emphasize the strengths that set you apart from other candidates. Always take advantage of the opportunity.

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Comments

  1. BY Adam says:

    What’s a reasonable amount of time to spend customizing a cover letter/resume for a company I’m sending it to? The dilemma I’m having is that it seems like it’s a numbers game and I need to be applying to a “large” number of employers, but I do have a full-time position (I’m looking to make a change), and the amount of time I can spend on sending applications is somewhat limited. I’m just trying to find the right balance between sending more applications and spending time tailoring them, so I was hoping to get an idea of how much time, on average, someone who follows this advice should expect to spend on each application. Thanks!

    • BY Mark Feffer says:

      You’re better off spending more time customizing than you are blasting out a large number of generic cover letters and resumes. The more you can tailor each set to each employer — and ideally, each hiring manager — the more likely you are to get a response. Most people send the same cover letter and resume to everyone, so those that discuss the company and its needs specifically stand out.

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