What is a cover letter?
It’s more than your resume:
A cover letter is a one page written document that highlights more than your skills and previous job experiences. It is something for the employer to read in order to get to know the candidate beyond his or her resume. The letter is mainly for you to express how you will be able to apply the skills that you’ve outlined on your resume to the position.
A way to introduce yourself: It is a form of saying hello to the hiring manager. So technically you are making your first impression on paper and not in-person during the interview. The sound and flow of your cover letter will allow the person who is screening the resumes to have an idea of what you’re like and if you’re the type of person they want to interview.
Why are cover letters important?
There are many factors that can make or break your chances to land an interview after you apply. But the one thing that can save you from a mediocre resume or boost your credibility is writing a compelling cover letter and submitting it along with your resume.
Not everyone writes a cover letter: This is where your letter will come in to play. As mentioned above, it will allow the hiring manager to get to know you a little better and he or she may be able to relate to what you’ve written. Therefore, they may be more inclined to call you to schedule an interview.
It shows initiative: With the job competition sky high these days, even though lots of candidates are probably qualified for the job, the hiring manager will most likely pay special attention to the ones who’ve taken time to write a cover letter. This shows enthusiasm and passion for the job. Taking the extra step or few hours to write that letter is worth it, especially when you hear that phone ring.
It never hurts to include a cover letter: All companies, organizations and hiring managers are all subjective when it comes to screening candidates. Some people may not even bother looking at the cover letter, but that doesn’t matter, because others will. Besides, even if hiring managers disregard the cover letter, it won’t hurt your chances. On the flip side, when companies do decide to read a cover letter and you haven’t included one, it may be detrimental to you prospects.