The necessity of including a cover letter with your application materials has been a source of debate for years. Some employers expect you to provide an overview and introduction, while other employers may not even take the time to read the letter. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. Regardless of whether the letter is read, including it could improve your chances of employment, making the effort worth your time.
It Makes Sense
A cover letter is designed to provide more details than what you can include in your resume. Taking the time during your job search to write a one-page document that digs deeper into your accomplishments and experience just makes sense. In fact, applicants who do not include a cover letter within their application materials could be at a disadvantage. The bottom line is that even though many hiring managers don't read these letters, they will notice if you don't include one when applying for a position with their company.
Not only is it important to include a cover letter, it is essential you customize the wording for each position you are applying for during your job search. Scour through the employer's job advertisement and description of duties to locate keywords so you can include these in your piece. Use industry terms outlined in the job description to showcase your knowledge and understanding of the field. Spend time researching the company's operations, culture and client base so you can reference what you know when writing. A vast knowledge of how the company operates is often impressive and shows the hiring manager you put time and effort into learning about this opportunity. Employers can easily spot applicants who submit a generic cover letter or use a template.
Highlight Your Personality
Instead of just repeating information from your resume, expand upon your goals and motivation when writing your cover letter to highlight your personality and drive. For example, detail your long-term goals and describe how working for this company can help you accomplish these goals. Show the hiring manager how your skills and experience can impact the company and improve not only operations but also productivity and the client relationships. Indicate how you motivate others, lead staff members and approach projects so the employer can vividly see how your influence can positively impact the company both in the short term and long term.
Although it may seem outdated to write a cover letter for each position you are applying for during your search, the minimal time it takes to personalize the letter may be worth it in the long run. Hiring managers are seeking candidates who go above and beyond, and your letter may just convince them you are the best fit for the position.
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