Archives for posts with tag: email

A lot of emphasis is placed on having a well-written resume and the importance of cover letters is often overlooked.  While cover letters are not always required, they have the potential to make a candidate stand out to an employer.  

The growth of digital has caused a shift from the pre-digital days of fax or snail mail to the current use of online portfolios and interactive resumes.  Another change in cover letters is the recommended length and the formatting of the letter.  Cover letters can easily become a long, somewhat unnecessary recap of a resume–but we recommend short, to-the-point cover letters, especially for email. Simply recapping your resume could hurt you instead of helping.  

David Silverman, blogger for the Harvard Business Review and former executive, explains that the best cover letter he received was three sentences long and basically an introduction to the applicant’s resume.  If your cover letter is a summary of your resume, keep it short and to the point, there is no reason for your cover letter to be an overly wordy, overly long summary of your resume.  But the point of a cover letter is to further explain what you will bring to the job, therefore, only focus on experience and qualities pertinent to the job, including accomplishments that demonstrate traits you can’t communicate in a resume.  

Yes, some employers like David Silverman prefer a concise cover letter or even no cover letter at all, this is by no means a universal sentiment.  Some industries, particularly  law and architecture, depend on cover letters to distinguish candidates from one another.  These industries take into account more than just the basic qualifications when looking to hire.  Furthermore, for jobs that require a substantial amount of writing, cover letters provide the opportunity to showcase your writing ability.  

Finally, there are some basic guidelines that should be followed when writing a cover letter.  Avoid antiquated phrases such as “To whom it may concern” or “Dear sir or madam”. You should always address the person who is reading your resume directly. If you do not know, and cannot discover, the name of the person who will be reading your resume, consider omitting the salutation line altogether. Also, make sure to follow the employer’s guidelines for sending a resume.  Some employers will specify to attach the cover letter in an email instead of putting it in the body of the email, or vice versa–follow these instructions.  And thoroughly read through your cover letter for any spelling or grammatical mistakes.

For a guide to writing resumes read our previous posts here and here.


The development of social media has revolutionized marketing and communication.  Even email has changed in response to the social media revolution.  During the past few years, the debate as to whether or not email is obsolete has surfaced.  Atos, a French information technology company, believes that internal email is unnecessary and have taken steps to eradicate it.

Employees will be banned from sending inter-office emails because according to the CEO of Atos, only 10% of the 200 emails received at the office are actually pertinent, and 18% are simply spam messages.  To highlight how insignificant Atos finds email, Breton, the chairman and CEO of Atos, has not sent out an email in the three years of holding his title.   Instead of communicating over email, employees will communicate over Facebook and instant messaging.  Furthermore, Atos is constantly looking for other, newer forms of social media to better facilitate inter-office communication

Atos may be on to something in their decision to discontinue the use of email.  Email is, quite frankly, a hassle.  Unlike with IM tools, you must send messaging using an email address, instead of a name, and you can’t track conversations as easily via email. Mailboxes constantly fill up with spam and long-winded messages.  Email also lends itself to a more formal communication than does instant messaging or Facebook.  While there is still a place for a more formal exchange externally, it does not seem necessary use within an office.  Communication through social media is less formal, more brief, and usually received and responded to quickly–all these features make it perfect for inter-office communication.  Instead of unopened messages inundating your mailbox, it is preferable to have short, concise messages.  Email isn’t dead yet, but it is unnecessary and time consuming when used for informal communication.

For more on Atos’s “zero-email” policy. 

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