With some career experts claiming that cover letters are no longer necessary, many job seekers find themselves leaving this document out of their application packets. In reality, the cover letter is a vital document with several advantages that make it worth your extra time and energy. Check out these five reasons why a great cover letter is an important piece of your job search preparation.
1. Make a Good First Impression
While most resumes serve as a list of educational experiences, career endeavors, job skills and qualifications, cover letters go a step further by letting you make a personal connection with the hiring rep. Use this opportunity to let your personality shine by sharing an impressive accomplishment from your career or explaining why you're so passionate about the industry. Make the most of your cover letter by addressing the document directly to the hiring manager.
2. Set Yourself Apart From Other Candidates
When all the resumes submitted for a particular job start to look the same to hiring reps, your cover letter provides an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd. Rather than using cliché phrases and boilerplate language, be genuine in your cover letter. Whether you're enthusiastic about the industry or passionate about career challenges, let your unique voice be heard.
3. Prove You Can Do the Job
Your resume may list job experiences and educational degrees that qualify you for the position, but it doesn't prove that you can handle the work. Use your cover letter as a chance to show off your knowledge of the industry, demonstrate your ability to perform the functions of the job and describe past achievements that can solidify the hiring organization's confidence in you.
4. Explain Your Resume
Your cover letter also lets you clarify irregularities in your resume. If there are gaps in your work history, use your cover letter to explain why you took time off from working or how you performed volunteer work while you were laid off from your previous employer. If you have a nontraditional work history, the cover letter lets you explain this well in advance of any job interview.
5. Demonstrate Attention to Detail
Submitting a cover letter and resume that are well-written and impeccably formatted shows your attention to detail. Creating a flawless resume and cover letter shows that you're a detail-oriented worker with the ability to organize information and present it professionally.
Build your professional arsenal for any job search by creating a resume and cover letter that let you shine. Your resume shouldn't stand alone; a well-written cover letter gives you a chance to let your personality shine, differentiate yourself from other job candidates and provide greater detail than a resume allows.
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