Significance of cover letters in applications
A resume is the primary tool to get you noticed in the job-seeking race. But is that all that is needed? What if your resume itself goes unnoticed? What should be done get your resume noticed among hundreds of others in the first place? That is where cover letters come in significance.
When to enclose a cover letter
Many times, job seekers make the mistake of not enclosing a cover letter. Whether in employment ads or direct correspondence, employers might only ask to send them your CV or resume, but not specifically for a cover letter. It would be unwise to think that a cover letter is required only if it is particularly asked for. Instead, it is a good idea to always include a personalized cover letter along with your resume when sending job applications, be it physically by post or virtually by email.
Employers get a lot of applications every day, especially if a job posting was advertised. Therefore, it is only natural for them to not go through each and every resume. They are most likely to ignore applications that come without a cover letter as it shows that the application is either sent as a bulk email or that the applicant is least interested in the position. A cover letter will introduce you to the employer and put across your skills and traits as a potential candidate for the position. It should include technical keywords that are relevant to the job requirement and highlighted in bold to grab the attention of the hiring manager.
Tips and advice for sending a good cover letter
Here are some general tips for sending a cover letter along with your resume in an email application.
- Be sure to write the cover letter professionally. Include all necessary sections in a cover letter and format them according to the accepted layout. Read about the various sections of a cover letter
- Choose the right font style and size to write your cover letter. The font should be easy to read and understand. No employer will take the time and effort to decipher your letter. You may either write the content in a word processor and format it before pasting it in the email body, or use text formatting tools in the email client directly.
- Do not overload your letter with all the skills and experience you possess. Instead, be selective and put down only those that are relevant to the applying job.
- Personalize your cover letter just as you do with your resume. Do not use the same content for all applications you send. Read carefully each job listing and tailor your cover letter according to what the position requires.
- The content of your cover letter should not be an exact replica of your resume. That is, do not copy lines from your resume and paste them in the letter. Try to mix things up and present them in a different way.
- Use keywords that are in the job requirement and what you think the hiring manager is expecting in their candidate. Highlight them in bold so that it is not difficult for them to notice.
- Do not simply state your qualifications. Try to establish a link between all your mentioned skills and expertise to the job requirements.
- Put across what you have to offer to the business and not what you want from it. Tell them how they will benefit from your employment with them.
- Make sure that your signature includes your major contact details like your full name, phone number and email address. All these information should match those in your resume. Providing different ones will only confuse the hiring manager and screw you up as to which contact point to expect a response on.
- Most importantly, no matter what, do not exaggerate and embellish your cover letter with untrue claims simply to fit in the shoes. Remember that it might get you to the interview but not through.
Alternatively, check our article here for different types of cover letters for a sample reference. You may personalize them according to your situation and put them to your use.