I don’t hire people; haven’t hired people in years. But, I can still tell you that it’s important to make sure what you send to someone who does hire people is tailored to that particular job. I was reminded of this when I received an e-mail from a public relations person who wanted me to promote a book.
I know that this person did not tailor his e-mail to me at all for the following reasons:
1. He just starts out with the text. No salutation including my name. (Dear Evil HR Lady, or Evil HR Lady– or even, Hi Evil! which always cracks me up. You get extra points if you address me as Suzanne, which I have only occasionally mentioned, unless you follow me at US News, so I know you at least have done some reading.)
2. His second sentence is: “I think you do a great job discussing the significant issues and trends in HR today.” If significant trends include answering people’s questions and posting pictures warning against the evils of nose picking then he’s right. Otherwise, he’s never actually read my blog. I will admit, that once in a while I do comment on an HR trend, but it’s certainly not my focus. Any regular reader would know that.
3. He asks me to participate in a blog tour. I haven’t done any sort of book review or author interview in a long time. Asking is fine. If I really think your book is interesting, I might do just that. But, make some reference that you realize this is out of the oridinary for me
As an end result of this, I’m not going to even consider this “candidate.” I know I was just a person on a list and he hit “send” on a mass e-mail.
When your cover letter has these flaws, you also find your resume in that big delete file in the sky. Sending a resume is asking for something from somebody. If you are going to ask, at least take the time to get to know who you are asking.