While technology has certainly changed the way candidates apply for jobs, some things remain the same. This includes the need for a cover letter. Unless you’re applying online and the system doesn’t allow you to submit one, you should consider sending one in.
Why? Because most hiring managers want to see a cover letter. Even if they don’t fully read it, they expect to have one in hand from applicants. So if you don’t send one with your resume, you could stand out for the wrong reasons.
In addition, while a recruiter might not read your cover letter from beginning to end, they can often pass it along to the hiring manager and others on the hiring committee. It can therefore be the difference between getting a call for an interview – or not.
Finally, your resume is the place for you to list out your accomplishments and tasks. Your cover letter, on the other hand, is where you can tell your story. This makes you a more memorable and intriguing candidate, hopefully leading to job search success faster.
So unless a posting explicitly states NOT to send one, or the application process doesn’t allow it online, invest the time and effort into writing and submitting a cover letter. Some tips for doing that include:
- Use the hiring manager’s name when possible. Do what you can to avoid addressing it “To whom it may concern” and instead find out the hiring manager’s name. If it’s not in the job posting, call the company or email the department to see if you can uncover it.
- Include the job title. Hiring managers and recruiters are often hiring for multiple positions. Avoid any confusion by stating the position you’re applying for in the first paragraph and what drew you to the role.
- Strike the right tone. Do some research on the company and try to determine what tone will work best for them. If it’s a more corporate, formal organization, you’ll want to use fitting language. On the other hand, if it’s a small, family-owned business or promotes a more laid-back culture, then strike a more casual tone in your writing instead.
- Explain what makes you different. Focus on one or two strengths or accomplishments that are most relevant for the role or company. Explain the value you can offer through them and why your background best aligns with the company’s needs. Remember, hiring managers and professional recruiters are busy and you want to make it abundantly clear and easy to understand why you’re the candidate to consider.
It’s true that some employers won’t read a cover letter. However, many still do and it’s not worth all the potential risks of not sending one. Instead, go the extra mile and write a cover letter that makes it easier for you to set yourself apart.
Would you like more help with your cover letter?
Read these additional tips, or turn to ResumeSpice for more assistance. We can offer you professional cover letter templates to follow or write yours from scratch. Whatever your needs, we’ll distinguish you among other candidates and showcase why you’re uniquely qualified for a role. If you’re ready to learn more, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.
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Is a cover letter really necessary today? For most recruiters and hiring managers, the answer is “yes.” Unfortunately, many candidates end up treating it as an afterthought, without investing the time and effort necessary to truly set themselves apart.
But think of it this way: Your cover letter is the first impression you’ll be making on a potential new employer. So when you submit one, you want to ensure it’s as persuasive as possible.
With limited space, how can you do that? Here are three tips from the cover letter writers at ResumeSpice:
Open with a great lead.
You want to stand out from the start and that begins with your opening sentence. Don’t simply state the obvious, such as: “I’m applying for ABC position.” The hiring manager already knows that. Instead, leverage the lead sentence so you’re more memorable.
For instance, explain why you want to work for the company. Perhaps you’re a fan or customer. Or, if you have a mutual connection with the hiring manager, mention that. Whatever you do, don’t send in a cover letter that has the same first sentence as the majority of other candidates.
Customize the body.
You might have one generic cover letter, and that’s a good place to start. However, you need to customize and edit it each time you send it. In fact, the more you personalize it, the better.
This goes beyond simply swapping out the name of the hiring manager, company and job title. Instead, think through your background and accomplishments and how they relate to the position. Read through the job posting again if necessary, and make notes about relevant areas where you have specific experience or strengths to highlight. Then make sure you underscore these in the body of your letter.
Explain how you can deliver.
Hiring managers want to know what you can do for them, which is why it’s critical to quantify your work as much as possible. This will help to set you apart as a candidate and demonstrate that you have a successful track record. Just make sure you’re clear and succinct in your language, avoiding hyperbole and clichés. For instance, don’t say you’re a “dynamic sales star.” Rather, talk about how you sold $150,000 in new products last month and have the skills to do the same for the company you’re applying to.
The strength of your cover letter can make or break your chances of getting an interview. So take time with yours, focusing on letting your abilities, accomplishments and personality shine through.
Interested in learning more from a professional cover letter-writing service?
As experienced cover-letter writers, ResumeSpice can help you stand out and distinguish your unique skills, strengths and personality from the crowd. Find out how with a call to our team at 832.930.7378.