I love my local bookstore. Walking down each aisle, I look at one book after another, usually only stopping to review those books that catch my eye, either because of the title or because of the cover picture or a graphic that piques my interest.
While there are certain books I seek out, because of my own interests based on subject matter important to me, all the books I walk past have the potential to wind up in my library.
There is no such thing as a quick trip to the bookstore for me.
Once a book calls to me from the shelf to the extent that I stop to look closer, it has only one chance at securing its place on one of my bookshelves. And that one chance is determined by how I feel about it after reading the synopsis on the cover.
This may seem a little short-sighted to some of you. And admittedly, I have probably put back many a good book based on this method, but I gave those books the same opportunity as the ones I did take home. It’s not my fault they didn’t pull me in. I wanted to like them or I never would have picked them up in the first place. They simply did not give me enough information, or the right kind of information to deserve the time commitment I must make to complete the entire tome.
So it is with the cover letter, or the ‘un-cover’ letter, more aptly.
A busy manager looking to fill a post in his organization will have to sift through many resumes in his search for the right candidate. So that cover letter better stop him in his tracks or there is a good chance the resume will remain on the shelf, eventually finding its way to the bargain bin, and ultimately to the trash bin.
It should uncover some of what waits for the reader inside, clearly and concisely crafted to beg the manager to look a little deeper, bidding his attention to the point where he has no choice but to “buy in.” This sheet of paper will be your first impression, and you know what they say about first impressions.
So if you wouldn’t buy the book your cover letter is attached to, don’t be surprised if it continues to collect dust on the shelf.