The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received
by David Silverman
David Silverman has been an entrepreneur, an executive, and a business writing teacher. His latest book is Typo: The Last American Typesetter or How I Made and Lost 4 Million Dollars.
Find more content by David Silverman at blogs.hbr.org/silverman
Here's my basic philosophy on cover letters: Don't bother.
That's because the cover letters I see usually fall into one of three categories:
The recap: This is merely a résumé in prose form. It's redundant, harder to read than the résumé, and provides no additional insight.
The form letter: This says, essentially, “Dear Sir or Madam: I saw your ad in the paper and thought you might like me.” And it's clearly a form letter—hopefully ...