Yes, if used correctly, cover letters can be an extremely important factor to your job application and could even help you get that initial interview. A common misconception about cover letters is that they should be used to repeat your resume. This, however, should NOT be the case! You should use your cover letter to convey traits and experiences that a hiring manager cannot deduce from simply reading your resume. Below are 3 reasons why you should seriously consider including a cover letter with your next application:
- Tell Your Story & Connect the Dots
A cover letter is your chance to tell your story and fill in any gaps in your resume. This is not a place to repeat your skills and experiences on your resume, but rather to explain how your experience relates specifically to the position. This is also a chance to include information that may not appear on your resume or that would be out of place without an explanation
- Sell Yourself & Your Personality
Think of your cover letter as an opportunity to sell yourself and show off your personality. Try to add your unique voice to your writing to avoid sounding too generic or boring. Showing off your skills & personality traits will demonstrate to your potential employer that you will be a great culture fit to the company.
- Show Your Interest in the Position and the Company
While your resume acts as a list of career accomplishments and achievements, a cover letter is your chance to show that your passionate about the role and career path at this particular company. It’s important to tailor each cover letter to the role and company you are applying to. This will show that you have spent time and effort researching the position and company, rather than having applied on a whim with an impersonal cover letter.
General Rules & Tips:
- Keep it brief
- DO NOT repeat your resume
- Showcase your skills: specifically address any skills mentioned in the job description
- Don’t be too formal: avoid sounding like a robot, show your personality
- Tailor your cover letter to the company the job: avoid generic cover letters
- Watch out for overused buzzwords: team player, hard worker, detail oriented, self-starter – aim to stand out and be different!
- Include your contact info
- Proof read!