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Sample cover letter for Internship position at Facebook
I was talking to a Vice President of Human Resources recently, and she asked me what I thought of cover letters. “Because I don’t read them,” she explained.
It turns out that with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) often taking the first pass at screening resumes, the cover letter is often never actually read. (That’s a grammatically-interesting sentence, I know.) If a resume contains the right keywords, it gets past the software filters and can be read by a human. If the recruiter sees the skills and experience that they are looking for, then the resume can be shortlisted for a phone call – otherwise it’s passed over. In either case, the decision was made without referring to a cover letter.
People often used to perfect one professional resume that accurately summarized their skills and experience and submitted it to every job that they targeted, using their cover letter to explain how their credentials could relate to the specific role.
However in the ATS era, where cover letters are often not read, this equals sending in a generic application with no job or employer-specific customization. Those quickly get tossed
See our template for making your own punchy cover letter