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  1. #1

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    Cover letters--staple or not?

    Such a minor detail, but I don't want to get on the bad side of an anal hiring person.

    The position I'm applying for asks for a "one- to two- page cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in the position" in addition to a resume and other supporting documents.

    If the cover letter is two pages and printed on nice paper, are you supposed to staple it?

  2. #2
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    Giving that the hiring person will be looking at 100 - 200 other resumes, my advice would be yes. It decreases the chances of your two page letter being separated for whatever reason at their work station.

    Also, consider the possibility of sending a resume to them in an electronic (pdf or word doc) format as well.

  3. #3

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    I've always thought it was strange to staple a letter together, that said, when I was in HR and going through hundreds of letters and resumes I always had my secretary staple everything together when she opened the mail so nothing would be lost.

    I would go with the practical and staple, but make sure you print your letter and resume on nice thick paper - not cheap photocopy paper. It just looks and feels better. If the recruiter is reading late at night (I always seemed to do that) it is easier to see a clear 12 point font on good paper.

    As far as sending an electronic copy, good idea; however, send a PDF, not a Word document. The formatting on Word documents sometimes gets messed up and it doesn't make a good impression. I know the version of Windows I'm using (2007) allows me to save as PDF so it is really easy.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  4. #4

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    I think the staple is okay, but I'd like to throw in my two cents.

    One of my sidelines is acting as a manager for opera singers, and I have to go through cover letters and resumes all the time. If your requirement is a "one OR two page cover letter," I suggest getting it on one page if at all possible.

    Possible hirers like a succinct, easy-to-read letter (and resume, for that matter) on ONE page. Long letters and resumes often don't really get read by the very person you want to impress. If it's at all possible to send the cover letter on one page, I think it would be in your favor.

    Good luck to you!

  5. #5
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    I took the middle road and paperclipped mine.

  6. #6

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    I was always told that HR likes everything short and sweet. A two-page cover letter? Wow.

  7. #7

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    If you've honed your elevator pitch, a one page cover letter should suffice. All you need is the elevator pitch, paragraph describing why you're uniquely qualified, paragraph describing why you're so exited about the job/company, two sentences on what you want to happen next. Don't forget to include EXACT words that are in the posting/ad.

    Big companies and companies that outsource their initial screenings scan. Most include the words "don't staple" in their instructions. Essence of Soy has the right idea for everything else... keep it together.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  8. #8

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    I think one page, or if it's two, double sided. But I'd never read two.

  9. #9

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    One other bit of advice....
    I always send my resume/cover letter in an envelope 8 1/2 x 11 - this way it is not folded. When I have hired and received lots of paper (before email), it was a pain having all the documents folded in 3 and pressing the pile down. I received one in the large envelope unfolded and thought - great. Envelopes and postage are a little big more, but worth it.

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