Why is the Cover Letter so Important?

Every career resource you can find talks about the cover letter, yet job seekers aren’t taking it as seriously as they should. They invest most of their time and efforts into their resume that when it comes to the cover letter, which also happens to be the section of the job application that speaks volumes about the applicant, they flop.

Here’s a reminder once again: Your cover letter, dear job seeker, is of vital importance.

Don’t use a generic cover letter you found off Google. Don’t use the same cover letter for every application. And, most of all, don’t skip writing a cover letter.

We’ve addressed how you can use your cover letter to your full advantage, so let’s talk about the why.

A really unconventional cover letter will help you stand out

Too much emphasis is placed on interesting resumes – we’ve seen great layouts, video resumes, and even resumes using Prezi. But the first thing a hiring manager sees is the cover letter. And if that’s dull and conventional, how likely is the employer to even throw a glance at your beautifully designed resume?

While you can’t exactly put design elements into your cover letter as you can in your resume, you can stand out in other ways. Be conversational. Be creative. Be yourself (which brings us to the next point).

Show hiring managers who you are as a person

You might not have enough years of experience for the role you are applying for, but with a great cover letter it might not matter as much. Hiring managers have picked out candidates solely based on their cover letters. Unlike your resume, the cover letter is a great space to showcase your personality and enthusiasm.

Hiring managers are progressively looking out for candidates who will fit well in the company’s culture rather than candidates with extremely impressive resumes. What better way to show that you’re the person they’re looking for than in your cover letter?

You’ve done your research, now it’s time to show how much you know

Before applying for the job role, you would have done some research about the company and its work. Put that research to good use by including key points you’ve learnt in your cover letter. And if you can, go a step further by finding out the name of the person recruiting for the role.  

Hiring managers want to know that the candidates they call up for interviews are people with interest and passion for the company. Show them you have taken time to do your homework.

Source: Thomas Leuthard (photo)

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