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  #1  
Old 11-25-2013, 03:53 PM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Am I Weird?

I just sent an unsolicited résumé and (embarrassing got long) cover letter to a person in a position of power in an organization I'd love to work for.

So...is it weird to send a résumé when the org isn't actively hiring on its website?

And...how long should a cover letter be? Mine was actually four pages. Which I know is incredibly long but I had a lot to say... And it's like my dream job.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:55 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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I would say be careful what you wish for. I've gotten THAT job a couple times and it has turned out every time to be a nightmare. The jobs I've settled for because I needed a job seem to have always worked out better. I can't explain it but it seems to be my experience.

I would say a better plan of attack would be to kick your LinkedIn into high gear and see who you know.
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2013, 05:07 PM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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Four pages is a bit long, but what could sending a resume hurt?
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2013, 05:19 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
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No, it isn't weird to do that. People do that quite often in many fields.

The long cover letter is weird and unnecessary. In my field we do a 1-2 page (1 page is preferable in most cases) cover letter. If you cannot say it in 1-2 pages then the people reading it assume you are longwinded, wordy, and potentially lacking the ability to be clear and concise. Their assumption can be false but that is their first impression. I don't mean to scare you.
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2013, 06:03 PM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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I don't think very many people will read 4 pages.

Keep it to one page.
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2013, 06:30 PM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Oops...I already sent it. I should have asked beforehand! But I spent over an hour working on it at the library and just wanted to get out of there at that point. Wait...maybe it was "only" three pages? Yeah, I think it was three...

Anyway if I do get an interview I will be sure to come here beforehand
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2013, 06:53 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
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3 pages is also too long.

I typically will not read cover letters (and letters of recommendation) that are longer than 2 pages. I prefer cover letters (and letters of recommendation) to be 1 page. Those of us who have been on search committees know how annoying it can be if people submit long cover letters and applications (unless we explicitly state that applications should be longer--similar to a resume').

It takes enough time to read resume' and supplemental information. Imagine having a large applicant pool and all of them thought they were important enough for pages upon pages of STUFF. LOL. When I'm on a search committee I stop reading after a while and I may skim the rest. If your awesomeness wasn't revealed in page 1 or page 2 (at the latest), I will miss your awesomeness.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:10 PM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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The point of a resume and cover letter is to develop interest in you & intrigue the interviewer enough to invite you in for an interview in person. You don't get a job from the resume. You get the job from a fantastic interview. Leave yourself something to talk about.
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2013, 09:48 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sciencewoman View Post
I don't think very many people will read 4 pages.

Keep it to one page.
I'd say keep it to one main paragraph. For my money, it really doesn't need to say anything beyond "I'm interested, my resume is enclosed and I would appreciate the chance to talk with you." I know others may feel differently, but I don't pay much attention to cover letters. As soon as one goes into "why I'd be a good fit/what I have to offer," I put it down and move on to the resume. It's the resume, not the cover letter, that gets my interest and makes me decide whether to interview.
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2013, 09:49 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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I think the point of the cover letter is to say
1-here's why I'm applying (I saw a job listed, or a professional way of saying - took a stab in the dark) and attached (or enclosed) is my resume
2-here's why you want me
3-I'm available to interview at your leisure (or a specific time if there would be a limit).

So 3 or 4 paragraphs should cover it.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2013, 10:23 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
I think the point of the cover letter is to say
1-here's why I'm applying (I saw a job listed, or a professional way of saying - took a stab in the dark) and attached (or enclosed) is my resume
2-here's why you want me
3-I'm available to interview at your leisure (or a specific time if there would be a limit).

So 3 or 4 paragraphs should cover it.
Exactly.

I know that this doesn't really apply in this case, but I find that applying for jobs recently has become extremely time-consuming; a lot of information is asked for twice, and employers are searching for even more specific information than ever. Filling out a 10 page online application (I've had to do this a few times), and then still having to submit a resume, even though everything on my resume was already covered in all of the application questions, is kind of annoying (but necessary). And after all of that, I can't imagine needing a lengthy cover letter.

Most of the "here are my skills and this is why I'm good for this job" points should already be covered in the resume/application. I honestly hate having to submit cover letters, because I don't feel like they offer much information to an employer. However, if there is anything additional that you feel is important that you couldn't somehow fit into your resume, this might be a good place to slip it in. Or perhaps there is a past job or extra-curricular activity with a particular skill you learned that may not be obvious, which would be helpful in the job you're seeking; I would mention that. But all of this shouldn't take more than a paragraph or two to explain.

And as others have said, with huge pools of job applicants, people simply won't want to read a 4 page cover letter.

Again, we don't want to freak you out… but of course this is all just good information to have
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Last edited by ASTalumna06; 11-25-2013 at 10:26 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2013, 11:01 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
I'd say keep it to one main paragraph. For my money, it really doesn't need to say anything beyond "I'm interested, my resume is enclosed and I would appreciate the chance to talk with you." I know others may feel differently, but I don't pay much attention to cover letters. As soon as one goes into "why I'd be a good fit/what I have to offer," I put it down and move on to the resume. It's the resume, not the cover letter, that gets my interest and makes me decide whether to interview.
This totally depends on the position for me. For interns or entry-level, everyone's resume pretty much looks the same; a well-written cover letter expressing a specific interest in the position helps me decide who to interview.
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2013, 12:46 AM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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The one thing a cover can do that a resume can't is express enthusiasm. But you can express enthusiasm at least as well in a paragraph as you can in a page. Probably better.
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2013, 02:05 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
The one thing a cover can do that a resume can't is express enthusiasm. But you can express enthusiasm at least as well in a paragraph as you can in a page. Probably better.
Right.

And I tend to think that many employers probably use them more as a writing sample than anything else.
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2013, 08:00 AM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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AST alum, I hear you...these applications are so detailed, I often wondered what the point was of having to submit a résumé when everything is detailed in the application itself.
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