Why Should You Have a Cover Letter?

Cover letters are often overlooked when people apply for jobs. It may feel like too much work when you need to apply for as many jobs as you can. Why should you write a customized letter for each employer? It seems like an extreme waste of time. However, this is the wrong approach. Cover letters are vital introductions to your experience, goals, and personality that employers want to see. The additional personal touch can really grab the attention of the person hiring, especially when joining a small team where you need to get on with each other. Taking that extra time to write a few sentences can really pay off and is definitely worth the investment of your time in making sure you get that dream job. This article will make sure that you understand the importance of including a cover letter with your job application.

Why Hire You?

When you write a cover letter, the goal is to focus on what you can offer an organisation that no other candidate can. Provide insight into your abilities and background that are not listed on your resume. Avoid saying something like, “I am the best person for this job.” Be specific about what makes you stand out. Instead, write, “My excellent track record as a salesperson earned me the distinction of being the youngest sales manager in my company.” Focusing on your strong points and making sure they employer knows that you are what they are looking for is key here and needs to be made the biggest point.

What Job?

Some job hunters make the critical mistake of not tailoring their cover letters to the jobs for which they apply. Applying for a job as an administrative assistant is not the same as applying to be a receptionist. Read the job description carefully, and address the most critical skills it lists by detailing your experience with each one. Some people also completely forget to change the job for which they are applying on their cover letters, so a cover letter for a job as an auto technician is sent to someone hiring a construction assistant.

What Should it Contain?

Cover letters should address who you are and which job you want in the first paragraph. The next one to three paragraphs should discuss specific skills listed on the job description. The last paragraph should thank the employer for his or her time and reference any enclosures or attachments. Cover letters should be less than one page long. Also, remember to put the date, proper title of the employer and correct spelling of the employer’s name, return and employer addresses if posting the letter, a closing, and your typed and handwritten signature.

Cover letters tell employers who you are as a person in a way that a formulated, strictly-structured resume cannot. Let your personality shine through in how you word your paragraphs, but do so in a professional and respectful way. Check your letter thoroughly for typos, and present yourself as a person ready to start the job as soon as possible. 

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