Are you debating whether or not to send a cover letter with your resume? Many job seekers find it difficult to create a cover letter and don’t want to be bothered writing one. The truth is that cover letters are still essential with your resume when applying for a job. Here are the reasons why:
1. It Can Impress the Hiring Manager: This is obviously the main reason why you want to create a cover letter. It’s your chance to add something that is not on the resume or emphasize something that is on the resume to impress the hiring manager. For instance if you’ve been out of the workforce for several years due to raising a family or medically caring for a family member, it’s your chance to simply explain that. You can also indicate that you’ve been enrolled in training courses to keep up-to-date on your skills or you did volunteer work relevant to the job you are applying for. If you’re a college graduate, you can emphasize a project that you accomplished indicating your skills and results. You can also reference that you’ll be enrolling in an upcoming degree program or certification.
2. It’s Less Formal than a Resume: Cover letters are written in first-person where you can connect with the hiring manager in a friendly tone. A cover letter serves as an introduction of yourself to the hiring manager and allows you to tell a story about yourself to gain interest. You can tell the hiring manager what it is you are passionate about in your career as long as it relates to the prospective position. For instance, if you enjoy leading projects because of the challenge and variety of assignments, you can mention this, cite a specific project, and explain how your leadership skills will contribute to the overall success of the business.
3. Write a Targeted Cover Letter: A well-written cover letter will specifically emphasize skills and accomplishments that relate to the position you’re applying to. If the hiring company is looking for someone with leadership skills then you can specifically indicate these skills or a situation where you successfully utilized those skills. Creating a targeted cover letter as well as a targeted resume will earn you points.
4. Most Hiring Managers Expect a Cover Letter: Even if the job ad that you’re applying to doesn’t require a cover letter, it’s best to send one. Hiring mangers will read a cover letter to get a sense of who you are. Job applicants who do not send a cover letter are many times considered to be less motivated for the job. An applicant who sends a cover letter expressing interest in the position and states why they are qualified for the position are more likely to get an interview.
For these reasons, taking the time to write a professional cover letter is recommended. The only time a cover letter is not needed is if you’re applying to a job ad online and there’s no place to attach or write a cover letter.