Cover letters – do you write them?

When I was about 18, working as a part-time HR assistant, I came across a rather unique letter on top a stack of faxed cover letters. Unlike the rest, this letter was handwritten, and its penmanship impeccable and very old-schooled. It instantly made an impression; I wouldn’t know if the HR manager felt the same but it was at that very moment that I knew cover letters were one of those things that were the epitome of “first impressions count”.

Over the years, I have encountered less sterling ones – there was this one peppered with very obvious grammatical and spelling errors written by an English graduate; another blunt and rather arrogant sounding “I am good at this job so I want it” one written by a sound engineering graduate; and there was also the one where the writer just goes on and on about their life and beyond.

It was later that I discovered that many people just don’t know how to write cover letters or sell themselves modestly via the written word. I remember my first cover letter – it was too modest and well, Dad thought it was a factory-type letter; y’know, the one that is generic and written the same way by thousands of other graduates.

What about you? Do you remember your first cover letter?

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