Are cover letters really important in the job market? The truth will shock you!!
Nowadays, cover letters seem like a mandatory requirement in the job market. But are they really that important?
A cover letter is a document sent along with a resume to provide additional information on your skills, experience and motivations. Oftentimes, providing a cover letter is necessary for potential employers who are looking for a candidate’s skills and qualifications, as well as their interest in the position.
By including a compelling and well-crafted cover letter along with a resume, job-seekers can stand out from the competition and make a positive impression on their potential employers.
Writing a good cover letter can be daunting, but with some thought, preparation and effort it is possible to craft an effective letter that will make you stand out. Here are the how-to basics in writing a cover letter, how efficient it can be and some tips for writing an outstanding cover letter that will certainly pique interest!
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is an important tool when it comes to finding a job. It is often the first impression that a potential employer gets of a potential employee and can make or break an application. It is an opportunity to show off your unique talents, qualifications, and experiences that make you the ideal candidate for the job.
Are cover letters necessary?
A cover letter is important and serves the following purposes:
Explanation of reasons for joining the company
Describe your career goals
Explain why you changed jobs
Describe job gaps
Emphasize professional achievements
Cover Letter Writing Tips You Need to Know
A little research and organization is a good start when writing a cover letter. Having a clear understanding of your company's needs makes it easier to create a document that shows how to meet those needs.
6 Tips for Writing a Cover Letter
Familiarize yourself with the company, research job postings, and consider how your skills fit into the position you are applying for. Then, in the first paragraph, start your message with a sentence explaining how your skills meet the company's needs.
Keep it short and concise. Harvard Business Review recommends keeping your cover letter short so that recruiters can scan it and quickly determine your eligibility.
Be positive and optimistic. It's okay to show that you're passionate about your work, but make sure the wording of your cover letter is professional. Also, do not use words or phrases with negative connotations.
Use bold or bullet points where appropriate to draw attention to important points. The Society of Human Resources Managers (SHRM) recommends this to get the attention of recruiters. It also makes it easier to check documents.
Your name appears fairly early in the document when someone at the company recommends you or tells you to continue.
Here are some tips straight from the experts in the field.
Show completely irrelevant (and Too Many) accomplishments
The most cringe-worthy thing I've read on a cover letter was a long list of the candidate's accomplishments—all of which were completely irrelevant to the job they were applying for. It was like reading a list of all their personal achievements instead of their professional ones.
Rengie Wisper, Marketing Manager, Check CPS
Send in handwritten and poorly done cover letters
Yes, I read cover letters regularly. The most cringe-worthy thing I have seen on someone's cover letter was written by hand on a piece of paper. It was likely intended to be an impressive gesture, but unfortunately, the handwriting and style were quite unappealing, and the overall writing was badly done. This person didn't put enough effort and time into the cover letter, which can be a huge turnoff for employers and make them think the applicant is careless and unprofessional. As a result, it is highly important to make sure that the cover letter is written with great care and attention to detail, as this is one of the first impressions you will make to a potential employer.
Shaun Connell, Founder, Writing Tips Institute
forget about proper grammar and/or punctuation
I read the cover letters, but I'm merely scanning through them to see if there are any punctuation and grammar errors. We've received cover letters for higher-level, administration-type positions, and you wouldn't believe the amount of punctuation and grammar errors I've seen! This is the first warning that this person may not be the best candidate for this position.
Lindsey Hight, HR Professional, Renue Commercial
Be Genuine, it always trumps generic
Yes, I read cover letters. Depending on what you write, I might not even open your resume. Obvious form letters or emails always make me cringe. Maybe the applicant has dropped my company's name, or maybe they haven't bothered, but when it's obvious that the applicant has simply created a generic template filled with buzzwords, I'm not interested. I love to see cover letters that include a personal reason for applying. Do you know someone at the company? Have you talked with someone on LinkedIn and gotten interested in what we do? Has something on our website resonated with you? If you can make me connect with you and your story, I'm significantly more likely to offer you an interview.
Beverly Gearreald, Product & Operations Lead, Transizion
Be full of eagerness
One of the most touching cover letters I've read was from a young woman who had recently graduated from college. She wrote about how she was passionate about the role she was applying for and how she was eager to learn and grow within the company. She could show her enthusiasm and commitment, which made me sure that she was the right person for the job.
Tiffany Homan, COO, Texas Divorce Laws
The decisive factor that makes me give a person an interview is their attitude toward work. Determination really makes me flutter. To me, what experience the person has for this position is not as important as whether they have enthusiastic feelings about the job.
Jennie Miller, Co-Founder,