Updated: Feb 28
“Why should I send a cover letter yet I can just submit my resume? Do I really need to write one?” This is one question that most graduates and job applicants grapple with. The truth is, you do need one!!
A cover letter is a very crucial piece of document that can influence your career. Needless to say, you will want this paper to look the best. Majority of employers use this document to weed out less qualified candidates. They tend to read your resume after getting attracted by your cover letter. Others will review the resume before the cover letter. Either way, you should strive to make your cover letter top notch so as to avoid the possibility of your application being thrown away. The current job market is pretty competitive thus cover letters are more important than ever before.
It’s a Sales Pitch!
The cover letter is used as an avenue to sell yourself and make a good first impression. You give reasons why you should be hired and why you want to work for that particular company. The idea is to grab the attention of the recruiter. You marry the job’s requirements with your top skills and competencies, your work experience, knowledge and not forgetting your achievements in previous roles. One aims to show that they are the perfect candidate for the role.
Focuses On Your Future Employer
While the resume is tailored to focus on you, the cover letter is employer-focused. Here is a chance for you to showcase your knowledge of the employer and demonstrate that you truly understand their needs. This requires you to do thorough research on the potential employer. Demonstrating this knowledge depicts your seriousness and commitment to the job and the company.
The Cover Letter Gives You an Opportunity to Include Details That a Resume Doesn’t
Do you have an unemployment gap? Then you sure need a cover letter. This is your chance to explain it. You can also explain how your transferable skills will be helpful to that particular job. You should use the cover letter to woo the recruiter to focus his/her attention to the skills and achievements that you feel are a plus. Skills that make you outstanding. You will basically be driving the interaction to your advantage
It Shows Your Writing/Communication Skills
Employers will gauge your writing and communication skills just by the way you craft your cover letter. It displays your basic knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Proofread for grammatical errors before submitting. You don’t want to appear sloppy thus missing out on an opportunity.
As much as the cover letters require much more work, it will be worth the effort and the time when recruiters come calling. It is important to customize and stick to the general rules of writing cover letters when applying for different jobs and to different employers. Keep the tone positive and clearly showcase why you are the best fit for the job. A ‘confident’ cover letter will resultantly make the reader more confident about you.