My last post was about cover letters and how to write better ones. Just to give you a refresher since it’s been a little while, in a nutshell, here’s what I want to see in your cover letter: Something personal, unique, customized to you and who you are.
Well, the proof is in the pudding my dear readers. Today I started going through the mounds of applications I have for an entry-level engineering position and there were ones that stood out from the bunch. I bet you can guess why.
Many of the engineers that came from this search were from a different industry. Since mechanical engineering has broad implications, there are so many routes that you can take with that degree under your belt. Sure, some of these applicants had experience doing building system engineering, but many did not. I got a plethora of resumes that showed experience in the manufacturing industry with no explanation of skill transference or desire to make a change. Some of them looked good, but I had to put them aside. I went in favor of the folks that explicitly told me that they were interested in learning about architectural engineering and proceeded to explain the rationale behind that. Not only did they read the job description, but they took the time to explain to me what they were looking for and how we could mutually benefit from bringing them onto our team. How could I not pick those people?
To me, this just drove the point home. No, a cover letter isn’t going to make or break you. But it can be what gets you noticed and into the interview stage. So don’t you think your letter deserves a few extra minutes of your time? Yeah, that’s what I thought.