There is one key rule in management: never hire anyone desperate or stupid enough to work for someone like you. Unfortunately, at some point in your management career you may need to replace an employee who was smart enough to quit.
If and when this happens, you will probably come across something known as a “resume” and its useless cousin, the “cover letter.”
Back when people used typewriters and an archaic delivery system known as the U.S. Postal Service, cover letters served the important function of protecting resumes against damage caused by psychotic postal workers.
Since the advent of computers sometime around 1885, resumes have been sent via email. Today, the purpose of a cover letter is to avoid attaching a resume to a completely blank email, which is frowned upon in some cultures.
You will recognize a cover letter by its adherence to the following format:
Beginning: Blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah.
Middle: Blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah.
End: My resume is attached.
While most managers read only the resume, you should always print out and read the cover letter as well. This is a handy way to kill time and avoid doing actual work. Perhaps more important, it can serve as inexpensive gift wrap, lining for a birdcage, or holiday party confetti.
Under no circumstances should you pay attention to the following: Read More →