A cover letter can also be considered (but definitely not limited) as a letter of application. It introduces you to the hiring manager, explains your purpose for writing, highlights a few of your experiences or skills, and requests an opportunity to meet personally with the potential employer. A cover letter is a good way to show an employer what kind of person you are, and what differentiate you from other candidates.
Why do I need a cover letter?
Some of you may wonder, do I really need a cover letter when applying for jobs? Even when the company doesn’t ask for one? With today’s competitive job market, the answers to this question is definitely YES. In most cases, a cover letter will boost your candidacy significantly for the job. Done right, a cover letter is the best way to present your most relevant skills and qualifications for the job at the job-application stage.
Without a cover letter, your resume is your only hope to make a memorable impression on the hiring manager. A bit risky, isn’t it? From demonstrating your writing and communication skills to initiating follow-up opportunities, a cover letter can strengthen your candidacy and increase your odds of landing an interview. Many career experts agree that sending a cover letter is almost always the best decision. A well-written cover letter not only completes your application, it also helps make your application more distinguished and unique.
Opportunity to highlight your strengths
Your resume lists all the past positions you’ve held and the significant accomplishments you’ve achieved. However, there are only so much you can fit into a one-pager. When you’re constrained to one or two pages, you may be forced to sacrifice some details in favour of length.
In your cover letter, you can expand and draw attention to noteworthy experiences listed on your resume. You can elaborate more on what you’ve undertaken and learned from past experiences, and portray your talent as well as personalities in ways that align with what the company is looking for. Expressing yourself in a cover letter will help present your personality to the hiring manager, which is often even more important than your qualifications.
Showing how serious your are about the job
The lack of cover letter is in fact one of the biggest complaints recruiters have toward candidates when looking for new hires. While most candidates present their applications with well-organized resumes and well-written cover letters, your action of simply submitting a single resume and nothing else could be interpreted as a lack of sincerity by the hiring managers.
Amongst the pile of applications from equally talented candidates competing neck to neck, which one do you think will draw the most attention from the recruiter? A single straight forward resume, or a resume companied by a cover letter that’s highly relative to the job? Naturally, the candidates who took the time to present their stories in a cover letter will stand out.
Showcasing your writing skills
Resumes have strict formulas with bullet points and short statements, while a cover letter allows you to write more fluently and with a unique personal touch. Communication skills are commonly perceived as the most important skill in any industry, employers want to see how well you can communicate in writing. Before the hiring manager meet you in person, your writing is the only channel of communication between you and your dream company.
In addition, decent writing skill is a must for many occupations such as Administrative assistant, medical assistant, business office manager, marketing coordinator, legal clerk, and many more. A properly written cover letter can act as a strong prof of your communication and writing skills.
Reveal your personality and build rapport
A resume tends to be fact-based and more formal, while a cover letter can be infused with personality. When writing a cover letter, don’t be afraid to incorporate personal notes about interests or philosophies that may help employers determine if you will fit into their culture. To increase the “wow” factor of your cover letter and make you stand out even more, consider adding a few unique accomplishments that is not listed on your resume already.
The best cover letters consist of energy, personality and details about the applicant’s skills and achievements, it can be much more revealing than a resume. Job seekers often make the mistake of sending a resume without a cover letter. Don’t make the same mistake, because you don’t want to miss the opportunity to establish rapport with employers and provide a sense of who you are beyond your past work experience.
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