A reader writes:
What type of cover letter should you write to go with your resume when you are going to drop off your resume at several different companies? I have several years experience in the loan processing field and want to go to companies in this field and ask if it is ok to leave my resume with them. I am not sure if this is a good way to get a job as I have never had to do this before, but I am hoping it will help me in my pursuit of finding a job.
Well, to answer your question before I rant about what I want to rant about, use the exact same sort of cover letter that you'd use if you were applying any other way.
Now that that's out of the way: I really don't recommend this tactic at all. Most companies include specific instructions about how they want you to apply, and it's pretty unlikely that "in person" is included. Plus, many companies only accept resumes electronically because they get put into an electronic screening system. Third, this is unnecessarily gimmicky; save yourself the time, apply online, and if you're a strong candidate, they'll contact you.
Yes, yes, everyone has heard a story about someone who went by to drop off their resume in person and got interviewed and hired on the spot. It's still, in general, not a good use of your time. (Everyone has also heard the story about the guy who sent a shoe in with his application, asking to "get a foot in the door." That guy is a cheeseball. Don't be him. Don't be any of these urban legends.)