Cover Letter is The Core of Any Job Application

You might have heard job candidates asking this question or by yourself in mind- Why should I include a Cover Letter when I have attached a professional CV? Here is an answer why Cover Letter is important for a Job Application.

A covering letter is a one-page document addressed to the interviewer that contains your contact details, the position you are applying for and further detail surrounding the information in your CV. Cover letters should highlight your interest in the role and expand on your skills and experiences that make you best suited for the position.

Within the letter, you should align your qualifications, relevant skills and past work experience clearly to the job description to emphasize that you have done your research into the role and are keen to join the team.

During a recruitment process, recruiters and hiring managers may receive hundreds of CVs to review. The better applications will also include a cover letter. It is important that your cover letter reflects the unique capabilities that you possess which position you as an ideal candidate for the role you are applying for. 

The overall goal of a cover letter is to demonstrate your uniqueness as a candidate, one that can bring value to the position, and to show that you are literate, experienced and enthusiastic about it. A well-written cover letter is an opportunity to show the reader you encompass these key attributes. There are few key reasons why.

It Tells The Employer Who You Are And Why They Want You

The Objective or Professional Summary on your resume also does this, but only in so many words. In the body of the letter, you have the room to elaborate on your experiences and interest in the position.

Highlighting Your Writing Ability

Resumes have strict formulas with bullet points and short, choppy statements. A cover letter allows you to write more fluently. Since employers like to see that you can communicate well in writing, a proper cover letter puts the right foot forward from the get-go.

It Showcases Your Strengths

Your resume lists the roles you played and the significant accomplishments you achieved in your most recent positions. But when you’re constrained to one page (or two, if you have that much relevant experience), you may be forced to sacrifice some details in favor of length. In your cover letter, you can explain and draw attention to a few noteworthy experiences from your resume. It also helps start to demonstrate your personality, which is often even more important than your qualifications.

It Shows That You’re Serious About The Opportunity

One of the biggest complaints recruiters and managers have when they’re actively looking for a new hire is the applicants’ failure to provide a cover letter. When you apply for a job by simply submitting your resume and nothing more, the hiring manager could interpret this as a lazy move on your part. If two equally qualified candidates apply, do you want to be the one who took the time to write a cover letter, or the one who didn’t?

It Shows You’re Dedicated

It might sound odd, but taking the time to craft an entire cover letter specific to this one job shows to your potential employers you’re not someone who shies away from work.

Let’s be honest – everyone at some point in their life has started applying for a job they weren’t necessarily dead-set on, only to bin it off halfway through because the application required them to forge a 500-word personal letter.

That said, if the job actually means something to us and is a career we could see ourselves doing for a lifetime, that additional effort isn’t such a huge ask. By filling one out, the employer knows you mean business and will be dedicated to the role.

It Makes Up For A Resume That Can’t Stand Alone

Granted, your resume should be effective if unaccompanied by a cover letter, but in case that resume just isn’t as persuasive as you thought it was, a cover letter can make up for it. There are numerous instances where a strong cover letter – not the resume – instigates a callback.

It Sets Up The Follow-Up

Instead of leaving the next step in the employer’s hands, use your cover letter to take control of the follow-up process. In the closing, specify a specific date and time that you will call them. The follow-up in your cover letter eliminates the waiting game so you can move on with an interview or move on to another job opening.

Other Key Reasons:

  • The cover letter allows you to target the job and the employer in a very specific way, leaving the resume to market your skills, qualities and experience as a part of the bigger picture. Your resume then needs less tweaking with each application because the letter, which must be different each time, does that for you.
  • A great cover letter should not just repeat your resume in a shorter form, but should tell the employer what it is about the job that is attractive to you and why you want to work for that employer. You will also need to include the unique skills and the qualities you bring to that job and the company.

Writing a killer cover letter is not a simple task. It requires thought, knowledge and understanding. Many employers and recruiters read the letter first. Some will not even consider your resume until they are satisfied by the content of your letter. So it is a very important document.

  • You will need to do research on the employer and the job before writing the letter
  • It will need to be written in an engaging style using keywords applicable to the job
  • In the letter you will need to show that you have made the effort to learn about their company by acquiring relevant knowledge before going to the interview, if you are chosen.

So what do you do if the employer is not disclosed in the job advert? Well the letter still has to be written specifically to the job addressing the key requirements stated and your enthusiasm needs to shine through. No letter can just say “here is my resume”, not if you want an interview. You will need to convey:

  • I have reviewed your website and understand your business
  • You are my employer of choice
  • I believe my personality fits with your organizational culture (providing it does)
  • I really want to work for an organization with your values

These all help to sell “your fit” with their organization. At Successful Resumes we believe the cover letter needs as much attention and skill in the preparation as your resume.

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