If you ever questioned the value of a cover letter in today’s technological age, Goldman Sachs’ HR chief has an important message for you.
“We read them because at times they will contain information that actually gives us insight into the person,” Edith Cooper, executive vice president and global head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, tells Business Insider.
The key to a good cover letter, she says, is to keep it new and interesting.
A colleague recently told Cooper about a job candidate who submitted a unique cover letter that, strangely enough, touched on astrophysics.
“It was so, so unusual that the recruiter said, ‘You know what? I really want to talk to this person.'”
Cooper says the lesson isn’t that every candidate should write about something unusual for the sake of standing out.
“The truth is, if it’s interesting and content-rich, it’s like a good book: If you open the book and the first few chapters are interesting, you’ll keep reading,” she says.
“If you open the book and it’s really just saying, ‘I’d really like to work at Goldman Sachs. It’s the best firm in the world,’ and talk about all the attributes of Goldman Sachs, it’s interesting, but we know about Goldman Sachs.
“How about you? That’s what we’re looking for. We want to learn about you.”
Check out the full interview below:
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