The Resume and Cover Letter…Should Never Be a Cold Call

First and foremost, a cover letter when submitting your resume is a mere formality.  In today’s job market, no resume should be submitted to any organization that you are serious about joining if you haven’t spoken with the individual, or individuals, responsible for bringing in new talent to that organization.  The resume and accompanying cover letter should never represent your initial attempt, or cold call, to contact an organization that you are seriously interested in joining.  there is some truth in the saying that it’s not what you know but who.

In case you are confused, let’s try a simple analogy of a gentlemen who is interested in a woman with whom he has no prior history or relationship.  Would it be in his best interest to send her a message professing his love for her?  Probably not.  What about getting her phone number and sending her a text message stating something similar?  This action will probably be unwise.  Instead, his most successful approach will in some way be aligned to identifying a way in which he can obtain a conversation with her before commencing any additional follow-up correspondence.  This is no difference in approach with getting that dream job – you must not only have the the resume and accompanying cover letter that is ideally aligned to fit the needs of the organization you are seeking to join, but also ensure that you have contacted the individuals responsible for “sponsoring” that correspondence.  Yes, you have to leverage your social capital once again – the center of the focus being the job.  Your job is to find the connectors that will help you meet your objective of getting that job.  You must  connect the dots, or the connectors.

Going back to the analogy, this gentleman will improve his chances of winning her heart if he can connect the dots to it.  He must know, for example, whose opinion she trusts.  Is it that of her Dad’s, her BFF, her college professor?  Knowing these connectors, he can then begin to garner support for his unconditional love by seeking the support of her Dad, her BFF and her college professor.  If they say no, his chances of winner her heart is a much harder path than if they say yes.

This is the same approach you should take once you find that dream job.  You must identify the connectors and seek them out.  These connectors are not just the human resource contact, but also the people within the organization that can influence the decision to at least get you in the door such as the first year associate or the head of the organization or area you are interested in joining.  You must always be prepared and understand the endgame and the connectors to get there.

The Sample Cover Letter

212 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
Harlem, NY 10026
(212) 555-1212

July 31, 2012

Ms. Jane Smith
Human Resources
ABC Company
646 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10022


Dear Ms. Smith:

I really appreciate your taking time out of your schedule to provide me with insight into the marketing group at ABC Company.  After speaking with one of your junior associates in the group I am interested in joining, John Adams, as well as the head of the group, Michelle Edwards, I am confident that I am an ideal candidate for the team and organization.

As discussed, I have been following the progress of ABC the last two years from newspapers and trade journals.  It was great to finally connect with the individuals responsible for its success.  Thanks for making this happen.

I have worked extensively in marketing and am currently sharpening my skills in the traditional marketing areas with my studies.  I plan on completing my studies with an emphasis in marketing in December 2013.  I find great synergy between your company and my background and experience and am confident that I will be a strong asset to the company.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at (212) 555-1234 should you need anything from me.  Otherwise  I will reach out to you within the next week unless there is a more suitable time for you.

Once again, thank you for your time and conderation.





If you have any other insights on how to land that dream job, please don’t hesitate to share with others.

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