How to use a cover letter to allay concerns HR may have about you

How to use a cover letter to allay concerns HR may have about you

I’m afraid that my age (60) might be a factor in why I’m not being offered interviews, however, I plan to continue working until I’m 70. Is there a way to communicate that in the cover letter without implying that I think they would discriminate against me because of my age?

Advice from Dana:

First, bravo that you are doing cover letters! Shame on anyone who is applying with just a résumé.

Second, you are in good company, since nearly every job seeker has a concern that there is something working against them. Whether they are applying from outside of the city, or they are new to the industry, or changing careers so they are new to the field.

I am a fan of addressing THEIR fears – those of the recruiter, HR person, or hiring manager – head-on, without sounding defensive. Put yourself in the résumé reader’s shoes and hit them between the eyes with two things:

  1. Why you are the BEST fit for their specific job description.
  2. Soften or defuse any concerns they may have. Do this if you feel strongly there really is a barrier.

Here are some examples you might try:

  • “I have enjoyed my x-number of years of work experience and am passionate about working at least another 10 years with your company.”
  • “As you will see in the interview, my energy level and passion to continue to exceed expectations is unmatched.”

Please don’t be confused. Showing how you are the BEST fit for their company is the most important step. Don’t simply regurgitate your résumé in your cover letter. Focus on THEM and THEIR requirements as they are outlined in the job description.