It can be tempting to spend most of your time during the job search finalizing your resume. However, the cover letter is just as important. If you struggle to find the right words when writing this crucial element of your application materials, it may be time to rediscover its purpose.
Why Do You Need It?
Although many professionals debate the need for this introductory letter, the bottom line is you need it to further emphasize your skills and experience listed on your resume. Don't miss out on the opportunity to highlight your achievements, promotions and performance in past positions that are relevant to the position you are seeking.
The debate regarding the necessity of crafting a cover letter may leave you uncertain about investing the time and effort to customize one for each position or even submit one at all. It is possible some hiring managers do not require or see the need for it, but if you neglect to include one, you could be eliminating yourself from opportunities when crossing paths with a hiring manager who does see the value of this letter. When in doubt, include the cover letter with your job materials.
What Is the Purpose?
The purpose of a cover letter is to provide the employer with an inside look at your professional performance, qualities and personality traits not listed on your resume. A resume is merely a snapshot of your professional experience; however, an introductory letter can provide more specific details and examples about your professional career and experience. For example, if your resume notes you met or exceeded sales goals, explain your approach to sales in your letter. Go beyond just listing achievements and reveal personality and professional traits that helped you to achieve these goals, such as a passion for satisfying customer requests or the desire to work in an environment that requires multi-tasking.
Why Should You Customize Each Letter?
Make your cover letter unique for each position. Hiring managers are seeking candidates who show knowledge of the industry and their company. Instead of working from a template or submitting the same letter for each job opening, think about how you can make an impact as an employee at this business. Point out specific skills you possess while also mentioning specific details you discovered during your research. If a company was recognized or honored, point out you want to be a part of future achievements and successes.
Write a cover letter with a clear purpose in mind to impress potential employers and increase your opportunities in your job search. Let your communication skills articulately convey your interest in working for the company so your enthusiasm prompts potential employers to contact you for an interview.
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