Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Cover Letters Still Matter

In a few weeks, my Feature Writing students will be wrapping up their portfolios. Part of that process includes writing a cover letter.

OSU journalism professor Pam Cytrynbaum passed along an outstanding New York Times career column on cover letters. It extols the virtues of the artful cover letter, which many young jobseekers seem to think has become passe. Uh, think again...

"Cover letters are still necessary, and in a competitive market they can give you a serious edge if they are written and presented effectively," notes Phyllis Korkki at the outset of the column.

Whether you've written what seems like of ton of cover letters or you're crafting your first, you'll find some great reminders/tips here.

And speaking of tips, thanks Pam for another fine one...


(Photo credit: "Rusty Writer" by Steve Wampler, courtesy of


Kent said...

I was a manager for most of my 33 years at HP. Cover letters are definitely important. A good resume (or portfolio) may show experience and education, but the cover letter is a nice peek into the applicants personality. Sometimes I had piles and piles of resumes. They tend to be pages stuffed with facts. A cover letter can help the person stand out in the pile.

I also highly recommend that job seekers do whatever they can to get the actual names of people at places they want to work for. Personnel departments have become sort of a black hole for resumes and letters. An actual person may take enough interest to pass your letter and resume to someone who has a job open.

Rob's Media Blog said...

Thanks for adding your "real world" perspective on this important task for young job seekers.

Ricks terrible blog said...

Thanks for the information Rob. This is definitely a weakness of mine I need to take care of in searching for a job.