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5 Hiring Managers Tell You What To Include In A Cover Letter

There is no better person to offer advice on writing a cover letter than the person who actually reads it on behalf of a company. We asked five employees with Hirepurpose companies what key information are they looking for when reviewing a cover letter. Here’s what they said.

“Make sure to address company values, include key words showing past qualifications and experiences, originality and purpose. Too many cover letters look the same after viewing hundreds of them throughout the day. Make yours stand out.” –Jason Montgomery, Recruiting Program Coordinator | MetLife

Takeaway: Make your cover letter unique. Don’t use the same generic template for every cover letter; tailor it to the job you’re applying for.

“To improve your chances of securing an interview, use cover letters as an extension of your resume and include key information to help hiring managers better gauge your knowledge and interest in their company and specific job. Ensure to include where you heard about the job; how your career objectives, education, training, and employment experiences align with the position you’re applying for; what excites you most about the opportunity; and your availability to start and relocate, if appropriate.”  –Abie Chong | Military and Veteran Recruiter | Hilton Worldwide

Takeaway: Your cover letter shouldn’t just be about you, it should also be about what you can bring to the company and role you’re applying to.  

“For me, the traditional cover letter just needs to be a simple introduction to the person applying for the job. If the letter, or perhaps even first e-mail, is an easy opportunity for me to reply, that helps. Simple things like, phone number and e-mail address are key on every communication for busy people. Also highlight:

  • What is the position of interest

  • Primary skills to make job seeker stand out

  • Professionalism

  • Friendliness

  • Someone that I can think to myself, ‘I see confidence in this person and believe he or she has what it takes to jump in and get the job done.’” –Jacquie West, Corporate Recruiter | C.R. England

Takeaway: Make sure your cover letter includes the right information for a hiring manager to contact you. Use the cover letter to demonstrate you are professional, courteous, and confident.

“I don’t recommend using cover letters or at the very least sparingly. The truth is recruiters don’t read them. I’ve heard various stats on this, but the most common is a recruiter will spend roughly 5-10 seconds reviewing your resume. If you don’t catch their attention in that time, they will pass you by. I find that candidates spend all of their time on the cover letter and not their resume. Instead, spend your time adjusting your resume to speak to the role you’re applying for.” –Military Recruiting Manager | Capital One

Takeaway: Every company has a different policy when it comes to cover letters. Bottom line is that your cover letter should not outshine your resume.

“A cover letter helps us understand more about why someone is looking for a new career opportunity, the traits they value in a position and company, and the core competencies they possess and would bring to their work every day. A cover letter also helps to entice the reader to learn more and read their resume for more details.” –Jack McCarthy, Senior Recruiter | CarMax

Takeaway: Some hiring managers use the cover letter to decide whether to read your resume, so make your cover letter engaging and personalized for every job you apply for.

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  • 0
    Frank Grantham

    If the "majority of recruiters do not read them," and if they will read it, they only "spend 5-10 seconds" on you as a job seeker. Why let them waste those seconds with a CV? Just a thought.

  • 0
    Michelle Doran-Pisciotta

    Can I share my cover letter with you? Would you assist me in improving it for employers on a general level? I am not sure what the recruiters are looking for and it is very complex to customize my cover letter to every employer. Please help me if you can. 

    Michelle Doran-Pisciotta Cellular: (281) 256-5041 E-Mail: 
    Career Web Page:

    Dear Hiring Manager: 

    Re: Business Administrative Management Position

    Available for interviews and work right away. I meet all of the job qualifications you seek and have posted for the job description for this position. Here is what I can offer your business. 

    Well-regarded professional with excellent customer service, computer software technological and administrative skills with proven success in management and supportive roles. Capable leader and project manager. Self-starter who is well equipped to manage and prioritize the competing demands of multiple projects. Proven relationship manager who is successful in establishing rapport and working with people at all levels. Respected team leader/player known for bringing a sense of pride 
    and ownership to all tasks of the project. 
    Core Competencies:
    • Project Management, Event Planning , Program Coordination, Fund-Raising
    • Relationship Building, Vendor Negotiations, Problem Solving, and Client Management
    Top Notch People and Microcomputer Software Automation Technology Skills with Accuracy
    • Excellent customer service skills, hard worker, loyal, trustworthy and dedicated
    • Multi-task effectively, team player, organized, technical suave, and self-managed 
    • Effective front office receptionist communicator and switch board operator
    • Highly motivated leader and very people orientated worker
    • Exhibit professionalism and have proven managerial skills, talents and skills
    • Recognized as a team leader in information management and in communications 

    Please, call me to make an appointment for an immediate interview. See my enclosed resume for your review. 

    Thank you for your consideration in advance. 


    Michelle Doran-Pisciotta

    Enc: Resume 

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