Cover Story

Do you need a cover letter when you submit your résumé online?

“You should never send a résumé through any medium without a cover letter,” says N. Jane Diggs, president of Career Connections Inc. in Charleston, West Virginia. “It’s surprising how many applicants don’t send a cover letter, even though most prospective employers expect one.”

An Internet-friendly cover letter will be short and sweet — no more than one page in length. Sum up your strengths and accomplishments in about two paragraphs, or use bullets. When detailing your experience, be sure to include plenty of industry key words related to the job you’re seeking. A computer programmer hopeful, for example, might use phrases such as network administrator or Internet developer.

It’s also a good idea to display some knowledge of the company to which you are applying. It shows that you’ve taken the time to learn about the company, and that you’re serious about the position. A cover letter is your one-page sales pitch, so send one even if the prospective employer doesn’t formally request it.

ACROSS THE WEB