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The 1 sentence you should use to start your cover letter, according to ZipRecruiter's CEO


It takes the average person six weeks to apply for and land a new job. Throughout the ups and downs of the typical search, there's one part of the process is usually more daunting than the rest: writing a cover letter with each application.

The challenge of writing a good cover letter may be why six out of 10 j ob applicants don't submit one at all, according to a survey from resume advice site ResumeLab.

But HR professionals still say these documents are crucial to their decision-making process, and they overwhelmingly give preference to candidates who include one with their application. The ResumeLab survey of 200 hiring managers also found that, 83% of the time, a great cover letter was enough to sway them to extend a job interview to a candidate with a less-than-perfect resume.

Ian Siegel, CEO of jobs marketplace ZipRecruiter, understands why job seekers don't know the best approach to writing a good cover letter.

"I think there's a traditional best practice way of writing a cover letter that's filled with bad advice for the current generation we're in," he tells CNBC Make It . "It's more of a demonstration of communication competency and attempt to provide a short summary of your skills and experience."

Using a cover letter to detail your qualifications is a big mistake, Siegel says — a resume should already accomplish this. In fact, the biggest mistake a job applicant can make is by starting their cover letter by talking about themselves.

Instead, applicants should begin by talking about the company, and specifically why they're excited by the prospect of joining.

"Don't talk about yourself first; talk about them first. My golden rule is to make them feel excited," Siegel says, noting that hiring managers spend just 20 seconds reviewing every application, on average. "Your excitement will get them excited — it's the best way to get their attention," he adds.

He recommends job seekers open their cover letters with the following sentence: "I'm so excited to apply to this job because ..." and fill in the blank about the company's product, service or mission.

Beyond that, Siegel boils down the most important things to include in a cover letter to three points.

"Show enthusiasm, show you've done research, and show you want to come in there and make a contribution," he says.

Following this four-step formula can help job seekers better understand which jobs are most appealing to them, and therefore which ones are more worth their time to apply.

The good news for the cover letter-averse is that, as more companies allow people to apply to jobs via a mobile device, they're less likely to require the additional document. In such cases, they may instead opt for requiring what Siegel refers to as a cover note, where applicants must type out their elevator pitch in a few sentences.

In such cases, the objective is usually much clearer: Explain why you applied (not why you're qualified).

Check out: The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years

Don't miss: Valerie Jarrett—who once hired Michelle Obama—shares the secret to a stand-out resume

This is when to bring up salary in a job interview

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How to Use ZipRecruiter for Your Job Search

Male professional in a suit sitting in a chair interviewing a female candidate with the ziprecruiter logo

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links.

You’ve probably heard ZipRecruiter’s ads on the radio or on your favorite podcast, or seen one of their millions of job listings. But is ZipRecrtuier a worthwhile tool for finding a job, or is it just another job listing site where you’ll be spammed with tons of irrelevant positions? 

Read on to find out more about ZipRecruiter, whether the site is legitimate and how to use it to find a job. 

What is ZipRecruiter?

ZipRecruiter is an online employment marketplace that helps companies find and hire high-quality candidates. 

For companies, it’s a one-stop way to post a job to more than 100 job boards and get recommendations for qualified candidates. For job seekers like you, it’s a way to get discovered by employers who are looking for applicants with your skills. 

Job seekers can browse millions of open positions and easily apply via their ZipRecruiter candidate profile. In addition to searching job listings, you can access the platform’s database of real salaries from real employers, which contains pay information for position titles in your specific location and the country as a whole. 

Is ZipRecruiter legit?

According to Consumer Affairs, a publication that vets companies and helps consumers make purchasing decisions, “ZipRecruiter is a legitimate, well-established hiring resource.” It has a 4.7 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot and has been Better Business Bureau accredited since 2012. Its employer clients include recognized companies like Bank of America, Target, and Verizon. 

Founded in 2010, the company has more than a decade-long track record of helping employers and employees connect with one another. In 2021, the company went public and is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange, which means its financial records and market dealings are subject to additional scrutiny. 

It’s important to note that ZipRecruiter is not involved in the hiring process. Once a candidate matches with a company, what happens from there is between those two parties. 

ZipRecruiter isn’t entirely without problems, though. Some candidates have complained on Reddit and other platforms about the volume of emails they receive from ZipRecruiter and the relevance (or lack thereof) of the jobs they’re matched with. 

ZipRecruiter logo

Is ZipRecruiter free for job seekers?

ZipRecruiter is 100% free for people who are looking for a job. Candidates can browse the platform’s job and salary database at no charge, with or without building a profile. 

ZipRecruiter makes money by charging employers a fee for the use of its services. 

Make your next career move with our extensive ZipRecruiter feed of open jobs

How does ZipRecruiter work for job seekers?

ZipRecruiter offers a number of useful tools for job seekers at various stages of the search process. 

When you’re just starting your search, you can look for open positions by title, industry, and location or view salary trends for your area. 

When you’re ready to start applying, you can create a free profile that allows you to upload your resume and apply for most jobs in a single click. You’ll no longer have to fill out the same information over and over again for every job you’re interested in, saving loads of time. 

Once you’ve created your ZipRecruiter profile, you’ll receive daily alerts of new jobs from an “AI recruiter” that uses artificial intelligence to match you with the best-fitting positions. If you’ve applied for one or more jobs, you’ll receive emails alerting you to application views, new messages, and status changes. ZipRecruiter will also “promote” your resume to employers when it thinks you’re an exceptionally strong candidate for their role. 

ZipRecruiter has millions of open jobs posted from all over the country, making it a good option for candidates looking to manage all their listings, open applications and job-related conversations in one place. 

How do I use ZipRecruiter?

When you log into your free ZipRecruiter account, you’ll be greeted with your dashboard. It contains your suggested jobs, which are picked for you based on your resume and prior searches; applied jobs, which shows the status of any positions you’ve already applied for; and saved jobs, where you can see all of the positions you’ve saved for later. 

You’ll also see your unread alerts, which appear with the bell icon in the upper right hand corner, as well as any necessary next steps to fully complete your profile. 

This is where you’ll fill in all of the personal and professional information that employers will see. It includes the basics: your name, contact information, skills, experience and education. There are additional sections where you can add an objective statement, certifications, licenses, professional associations, and achievements.  

You can enter this information manually, which is basically like building a fresh resume from scratch, or you can upload your existing resume and ZipRecruiter will fill in the necessary information for you, 

Upload resume

To upload your resume, navigate to the Profile tab of your Dashboard and click the ‘Add Resume’ option. You can upload an existing file in one of the following formats: .PDF, doc, docx, .odt, txt, .wps. .docm or .rtf. PDF is the preferred file option for the cleanest upload. 

If your resume is missing any of the recommended information, like a headline, ZipRecruiter will prompt you to fill it in or skip it.

Related: Sample resumes and recommendations

Change resume

Once you’ve uploaded your resume, ZipRecruiter may ask you whether you want to include or delete certain jobs and/or information by clicking Yes or No. You can also make changes manually at any time. Do this by clicking the ‘Edit’ button next to any section of your profile. 

Add cover letter

Unlike many job application systems, ZipRecruiter does not require a cover letter to apply for jobs. In fact, you can’t add one until after you’ve applied for a position. Instead, the platform advises candidates to focus on optimizing their resumes, which is what determines whether you match with a particular position. 

Still, a cover letter can be useful in setting yourself apart once your resume makes it through the screening process to an actual human hiring manager. To add a cover letter to any job you’ve applied for, navigate to your Applied Jobs tab from your dashboard. Click Add Cover Letter on the desired position, then copy and paste the letter into the provided text box.

Related: How to write a cover letter

Message management

Messages are how you communicate with hiring managers. If you’ve used the messaging function on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ll find the interface on Ziprecruiter similar. 

All of your conversations are displayed in chronological order. You can also search for conversations by name or by job title. 

Applying for a job

ZipRecruiter bills itself as being the easiest platform to apply for a job, and for most jobs, that’s the case. When you see a job you’re interested in, you’ll see one of two buttons: Apply or 1-click apply. If 1-click apply is not available, you’ll be taken to the company’s website or third-party service to complete your application. 

1 click apply ZipRecruiter

One of ZipRcruiter’s major selling points for candidates is its 1-Click Apply feature. It’s just what it sounds like: you can apply for jobs with a single click using the information in your profiel. In some cases, you’ll be prompted for additional information requested by the company. 

That’s it! As you can see, ZipRecruiter makes it easy for candidates who need to find a job ASAP to apply for multiple jobs quickly and get instant updates on their application status. 

Who are ZipRecruiter’s competitors?

Ziprecruiter vs careerbuilder.

Like ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder lets candidates create a profile, browse and apply for jobs. One unique CareerBuilder tool is its ‘CoLab’ feature, which allows you to enter a position title and get recommendations for similar roles. This is useful if you have an industry in mind but aren’t sure which positions to pursue, or if you’re looking for a job that leverages similar skills in a different field. 

ZipRecruiter vs Glassdoor

While Glassdoor offers job listings, its primary value proposition for job seekers is its employer reviews. On the site, you can read reviews of companies from employees who have actually interviewed and worked there, which can be a gold mine of useful information when job searching. 

ZipRecruiter vs Indeed

Indeed is the most similar platform to ZipRecriter on the applicant side, allowing job seekers to create a candidate profile and find jobs. However, ZipRecruiter has a leg up when it comes to ease of application. On ZipRecruiter, you can apply for most jobs without leaving the site, while Indeed will often take you to the company’s website or another platform where you’ll need to enter all your information from scratch. 

ZipRecruiter vs LinkedIn

While LinkedIn offers a robust set of tools for job seekers, including job listings, it’s primarily a professional networking platform. It’s a good option if you’re looking to connect with a human recruiter, who can share their clients’ open positions and keep you abreast of new jobs. Like ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn also offers the option to apply for many jobs from directly within the app. 

ZipRecruiter vs Monster

Monster.com offers job and salary databases that are similar to those of ZipRecruiter. You’ll often find different jobs listed on each platform, so it can be useful to browse both. Where Monster.com shines is its resources for job seekers, which include helpful career advice articles and fee-based resume-writing service. Monster is also very active on social media, so they’re a good account to follow if you’re looking for a job. 

ZipRecruiter vs Workable

Whereas ZipRecruiter is a tool for both candidates and employers, Workable is a recruiting platform geared mainly to employers. It helps hiring managers find great talent, but it’s much more focused on recruiting functionalities like sourcing and screening candidates than it is on job-seeker functions like new job alerts. 

So, is ZipRecruiter worth it? The bottom line is that if you’re in need of a new job fast and want a tool that helps you stay on top of your search, you’ll find ZipRecruiter useful. And, at a cost of $0, it’s definitely worth trying out.

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How To Upload Resume On Ziprecruiter

A lot of people start looking for jobs online, through sites like TheJobList or SimplyHired.com. There are also many social media platforms where employers advertise positions they have. These include things such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

By uploading your resume on these sites, you increase your chance of being contacted by potential employers. If you want more job opportunities, this is necessary work!

However, there is one site that can be tricky to use – ZipRecruiter.

ZipRecruiter was created in 2012, but has become very popular recently. It is an online platform where businesses look to hire employees. Companies create their own profiles on ZipRecruiter, and potential employees upload resumes and cover letters. Employers then contact the candidates via email or phone.

There are some benefits to using ZipRecruiter, but what may seem difficult at first can be done easily. In this article, we will show you how to quickly begin creating your profile and find employment through this website.

Free or pro, plain text or profile


First, you have to create an account, then you can pick either of the two most common types of resumes that people use – LinkedIn profiles or plain text documents.

ZipRecruiter allows you to add up to 5 documents as attachments to your profile. It also has some basic customization options like adding/removing tags, changing the position, and editing content.

However, don’t expect too much extra functionality than that! The more advanced features are available only to Pro members. But being a pro gives you all the other tools.

The free version does include one document attachment, but it will be limited to just 30 seconds long. After that, you need to upgrade in order to continue uploading files.

Create your profile


After you create your account, you will need to pick yourself as the employer or recruiter! This is very important because it allows people to view your professional career and educational background. You can choose to be anonymous, but that would limit how many opportunities you could join for potential employment.

ZipRecruiter offers several ways to create your profile. The easiest way is to use your Gmail address so that all of your personal information is linked together. Make sure to update your email in case someone leaves spam messages on your account!

You do not have to include every detail about yourself, such as what city and state you live in. Some employers and recruiters may contact you later to find out more details.

Upload your resume


A lot of career services providers offer online applications to search for new jobs. These apps allow you to upload your most recent resume, as well as include potential employers’ contact information.

Most job searching apps have you create an account through their site, but some do not. You can usually log in using your email address and password. Some make you choose between uploading a mobile or desktop version of your resume, so be sure to pick one!

Many sites also offer to help you build your profile if needed, which is very useful since you are giving out personal info that may be familiar to you but not necessarily others. By creating a professional looking profile, people will be inclined to take a look at your profile.

There are many free app-based job seeking sites out there. Try some out to see which ones work best for you.

The easy part...


After you have uploaded your resume, it is time to accept those opportunities that are a good match for you and take advantage of them!

Doesn’t matter if you get a cold response or if they ask many questions — unless they really wanted someone with their experience, you should consider accepting their offer.

On ZipRecruiter, you will receive up to 20 messages a day from employers looking to meet you. If you don’t respond within 24 hours, these opportunities probably aren’t worth your time. So, be sure to stay in touch after you upload your resume!

And when an opportunity does come along that seems like a perfect fit, go ahead and say yes!

It would be great to walk away without ever interviewing anyone, but in this industry there's always going to be something new coming around the bend. By being proactive about finding employment, you'll prevent yourself from having to spend too much time searching for work.

Talk to potential employers


When you upload your resume online, it is important to talk to potential employers about what tools they use for recruitment. Some prefer free job listing websites like Craigslist or LinkedIn, while others use more professional services such as ZipRecruiter or Monster.

By using a website that works for them, their audience can easily find your profile and read your resume! This is an effective way to get exposure for your career and connect with new people. It also helps you gain some credibility when you advertise yourself as a qualified employee via these sites.

Before you go ahead and upload


Finding new jobs is hard. It can feel like an uphill battle at times. However, there are some things you can do to make your search more efficient.

The first thing you should do when looking for work is evaluate the strengths of your current (or past) employer. What skills did you have that made you successful? Did you grow in your position?

These qualities can be transferred into another company. By using these as points for your resume, you will emphasize how well you handle responsibilities and increase your appeal to potential employers.

Furthermore, find out what types of positions their management or staff members have. This way you can put those onto your own resume!

Last, check out the other documents such as LinkedIn profiles and blogs to see if anyone else has success with this company. If so, add that information to your own profile or spread them about yourself.

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  1. How To Add a Cover Letter To Your ZipRecruiter Application(s)

    You may also search for the position by job title or company name in the search filter, located in the top right hand corner of the page.) Step 4. Click on 'add cover letter' under the job title. Step 5. Enter your cover letter text in the provided text box then click the green "Save Changes" button, located directly underneath the text box.

  2. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples)

    While it's ideal to begin your cover letter with "Dear Ann Meyers, Dear Ms. Meyers, or Dear Ann," it's not always an option. At the same time, you want to avoid the most generic greetings, such as "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam." If you cannot find the name of the hiring manager or recruiter in charge, then "Dear Hiring Manager ...

  3. How, When, and Why to Write Cover Letters

    A cover letter is, it's an incredibly helpful tool when it comes to justifying your candidacy for different positions. You can only fit so much into the bullet points and fragmented sentences of your resume, and your cover letter provides the opportunity to fill in the gaps, share a little personality, and prove why you're worthy of an interview.

  4. Write the Perfect Cover Letter for Any Job

    9) Make your letter readable. Make sure you use readable fonts (fancy fonts such as freestyle won't do you any good). Use clean, white, A4 sized paper. Leave adequate space around the edges of the page and between each section and paragraph. Don't submit photocopied or marked letters- always keep it neat.

  5. Get Noticed With a Standout Cover Letter

    Use these cover letter tips to help you get noticed. Be Human. Before you even write your first word remember, you are a human. And not just any human, you are you. So start acting like it in your cover letter. This doesn't mean don't be professional. It just means don't be anonymous. Try not to get caught up in application or cover ...

  6. How to upload / replace my resume on my profile?

    PDF format is recommended. Step 1: Click 'My Profile' from the top right of your screen. Step 2. Click on "Replace" and follow the upload instructions. We recommend that you save your resume as a PDF before uploading. You can also update your resume for a job you've already applied to. To do this, click on the "Jobs" tab from your ...

  7. ZipRecruiter: The 1 sentence you should use to start your cover letter

    My golden rule is to make them feel excited," Siegel says, noting that hiring managers spend just 20 seconds reviewing every application, on average. "Your excitement will get them excited ...

  8. Cover Letters

    View, copy, download our cover letter/CV samples, examples to send with your resume. Read Article. Executive Sample Cover Letter See our expert cover letter written just for Executive and related jobs. View, copy, download our cover letter/CV samples, examples to send with your resume.

  9. How to Use ZipRecruiter for Your Job Search

    Add cover letter. Unlike many job application systems, ZipRecruiter does not require a cover letter to apply for jobs. In fact, you can't add one until after you've applied for a position. Instead, the platform advises candidates to focus on optimizing their resumes, which is what determines whether you match with a particular position. ...

  10. FAQs: Adding, Uploading, and Submitting Cover Letters

    Here's how: Click Add next to Supporting documents at the bottom of the application review page. Select a reference letter, transcript, or portfolio from your device after clicking Upload file. Other files can still be added even if you've added a cover letter. Click Update to save the attached file (s). This takes you back to your ...

  11. Resume

    Get an Interview With a Standout Cover Letter Your cover letter is sort of like your resume's champion. A great cover letter makes your case for why you are the absolute perfect choice for the job. Read Article ; The Easy Way To Write Your Best Cover Letter Crafting a concise, compelling letter doesn't have to be complicated. Here are five ...

  12. What happens after I submit a job application?

    Jul 26, 2017 • Knowledge. If you submit a cover letter, that will be sent as soon as you submit it. ZipRecruiter has no hand in the hiring process beyond this point. If the employer is interested in moving forward with your application, they will contact you directly. Your resume (and interview question searchable responses, if applicable ...

  13. Don't Write a Cover Letter, Optimize Your Resume Instead

    This technology has become so pervasive that there are over 8 million active job postings on ZipRecruiter.com every day and more than 13 million resumes in our database as of April 2018—none of which include a cover letter. No Cover Letter Required. Not only do ZipRecruiter candidate profiles exclude cover letters, the option to add one isn ...

  14. How To Upload Resume On Ziprecruiter

    Free or pro, plain text or profile. First, you have to create an account, then you can pick either of the two most common types of resumes that people use - LinkedIn profiles or plain text documents. ZipRecruiter allows you to add up to 5 documents as attachments to your profile.

  15. Cover Letters for ZipRecruiter : r/jobs

    Posted by u/gradschool16hope - 1 vote and 2 comments

  16. How to create and edit candidate email templates

    Select the "Candidates" tab from the menu on the left-hand side of your screen. Step 2. Select a candidate's name whom you would like to email. Step 3. Select the "Action" drop-down menu, then select "Email Candidate.". Step 4. From the Email Candidates page, you have the option to create a new email template or to edit an existing ...

  17. Cover letter for ziprecruiter

    Email Me This Cover Letter. Download Pdf. Hello ZipRecruiter, I am writing in regards to the open position for a Machine Learning Engineer. I am immensely excited about this opportunity, as it is a perfect match for my skills and interests. As a Machine Learning Engineer, I would be responsible for developing and optimizing machine learning models.

  18. How to Apply for Jobs Using '1 Click Apply'

    This serves as your application! Step 1. Select '1 Click Apply' directly from the job post, while signed into your job seeker account. Step 2. Watch for the "Applied" confirmation to appear to confirm your resume on file was submitted. Applying for a Job Searching On ZipRecruiter.com Searching For A Job. Was this article helpful?

  19. Applied Jobs

    ZipRecruiter has limited information regarding the status of your application(s). Since we are not a staffing agency, we do not have specific information regarding hiring processes. ... Within your Job Seeker account, you can choose to add a customized cover letter for each application you submit. This article will explain the process step by step.

  20. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Middle paragraph (s) Closing paragraph. Letter ending and signature. Your cover letter should be one page long and use a simple, professional font, such as Arial or Helvetica, 10 to 12 points in size. Your letter should be left-aligned with single spacing and one-inch margins. Show Transcript.

  21. Can I replace the resume on an application I submitted?

    Once the resume has been updated we will notify the hiring manager via email that your resume was replaced. Step 1: While signed into your ZipRecruiter account, navigate to your 'Applied Jobs' tab. Step 2: Locate the application that you're looking to update and click 'Replace Resume'. Step 3: You will then be able to select a file from your ...

  22. How To Add A Cover Letter On Ziprecruiter

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  23. Add Cover Letter To Ziprecruiter

    Add Cover Letter to Ziprecruiter - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free.