Is it bad if I send similar cover letters to the same recruiter for different jobs?
July 5, 2011 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Looking for lab research assistant/technician jobs in the academic industry. Many of these jobs within the same schools have the same recruiter. Is it bad to have a similar cover letter for the same recruiter for these similar jobs?

I address the recruiter by name (when possible) and I have the specific position I'm applying for, highlight different achievements for the job, etc. But a lot of my accomplishments end up echoing themselves naturally. Is this okay?
posted by skybluesky to Work & Money (3 answers total)
 
Your accomplishments should be on your resume, not on your cover letter anyway. Cover letter is unnecessary unless specifically requested. If specifically requested, then it's fine that the content is similar in the various letters. The recruiter knows the score.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:01 PM on July 5, 2011


If you're in the US and looking for SRA/tech jobs, you are unlikely to get a job by applying through the university's HR office. the best way to get one is to start contacting faculty directly and express an interest in working for them. what you send to HR is irrelevant because those people aren't doing the hiring, its merely a legal formality.
posted by juliapangolin at 9:01 PM on July 5, 2011


If you're in the US and looking for SRA/tech jobs, you are unlikely to get a job by applying through the university's HR office. the best way to get one is to start contacting faculty directly and express an interest in working for them. what you send to HR is irrelevant because those people aren't doing the hiring, its merely a legal formality.

This is half true. If you do get some faculty interest, you will need to submit your material through HR and HR will not forward them to the faculty member unless your resume matches the job posting. Ie, if the job posting requires supervisory experience and you don't include the summer where you managed the student workers, or if the job posting says that you must be able to wrangle a flow cytometer and you don't include that on your resume, HR will not be able to forward your materials to the faculty member and the faculty member will not be able to hire you. Make your resume match - I see this from the hiring side, and it's enormously frustrating to work with bright people who simply can't/won't bother to read the job posting even when you tip them off to do so.

Also, if you're emailing faculty, please target your search carefully. We get all kinds of random postdoc applicants whose work has nothing to do with our lab - practically get spammed with them. (One reason HR is picky is precisely because all these job postings get spammed by people who maybe did a little pipetting back in 2003 or something.) If we get a spammy email, it gets junked - probably with no repercussions for you. But if you have a memorable name and you send a spectacularly inappropriate or awful email, sometimes faculty remember.

On the other hand, if you write appropriately targeted inquiry emails and take the time to get the HR process right, you'll be ahead of a lot of job candidates and it will really boost your chances.
posted by Frowner at 7:09 AM on July 6, 2011


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