Many job seekers underestimate the importance of cover letter. Some job seekers may even be confused about what covers letter are really for. Guilty of that? Don’t worry we have got you covered in this article.
What are cover letters, exactly?
Ever come across a great marketing campaign that has helped to sell a product? (Think: Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ slogan that sticks in everybody’s mind.) These are kind of like the resumes of great products, no?
A resume is a tool that helps you to market yourself to employers so that you stand out amongst a pool of other job applicants. But hiring managers receive a ton of different resumes every single day. How do you stand out then?
Your cover letter could possibly be that document that help you to ace your job application.
Wait…isn’t that what my resume is? What should my cover letter aim to achieve?
Your resume is a really short and brief summary of your background and accomplishments. It lists down everything from your education qualifications, the skills you have to your work experiences. It is a rather formal, brief and professional document that sums up your life story.
On the other hand, your cover letter is the perfect platform for you to introduce yourself in a way such that will have your hiring manager scrambling to get their hands on your resume. Okay, we’re exaggerating a little. But really, you want your cover letter to pique the interest of your hiring manager such that they would be eager to see your resume and everything you have accomplished in life!
Here’s what your cover letter should aim to achieve
A well-crafted cover letter should allow your personality and tone to shine through. Whether you are cheery, meticulous, or a creative thinker – allow your cover letter to speak to your employer about who you are before you meet them face-to-face.
Your cover letter should also be conversational and less formal (depending on the company culture). Tell your story: Let your employers know what helped you connect the dots and develop an interest to join them. Get them interested in you by elaborating on how your career goals align with the company’s mission and vision.
Debunking the myths of cover letters
1. Your cover letter should be like your resume, but in prose form.
No, no, no. Your cover letter should not be a complete rehash of what your resume is. Let your cover letter speak to your employers about the questions they may have while reading your resume. If not, share any stories that will convince your employer that you are the right man/woman for the job. Here are some things that you may want to consider adding into your cover letter
- How your previous experience will help you to achieve the job requirements
- Why you are passionate in the industry and the company
- How you can value add to the company
2. No one reads your cover letter
False! Cover letters are not dead. Some hiring managers may skim your cover letters and not read them in detail. However, there are still a significant number of hiring managers that will take a look at your cover letter to see what kind of person you really are. So keep writing ‘em cover letters!
A well thought-out cover letter is bound to help you leave a good impression on the hiring manager. This goes a long way in acing that job application. Plus, if you have got a cover letter attached to your resume, your hiring manager can see how committed you are in applying for that particular job position. You know what they say about getting A+ for effort.
Also, here’s a nifty tip. Afraid that the cover letter you have attached in your job application may go ignored and forgotten? How you can work this around is to attach your cover letter right at the end of the resume. This way, your hiring manager will definitely get a chance to look at it.
3. You can’t write a cover letter if you have zero work experience
Want to get hired but have zilch experience? Your cover letter becomes a very important document then. If you do not have any work experience, you could highlight certain skills and qualities that you have acquired along the way, be it through personal hobbies and interests or even through school project work. You may not really be able to list down these stuff in your resume. But put them in your cover letters to show them who you really are as a person, and why they would need someone like you to fill that job position.