Cover letters are meant to further explain details given in a resume or curriculum vitae (CV). They expand upon existing information, and provide necessary context.
Since cover letters are often read before resumes, it is important to fashion an effective cover letter. The following sections outline why cover letters are vital for jobseekers, and how you can write a great cover letter. Review these sections, and learn whether you should write cover letter or not.
There are three main types of cover letters from which you can choose to write. These include:
The most common cover letter you will encounter is the application letter. This letter is written in response to a job posting, whereas prospecting letters are used to ask companies about available positions, and networking letters are sent to professionals when you need help during a job search. You must ensure you use the correct cover letter for your intended purpose. However, this section will focus on an application cover letter.
For application cover letters, you may be instructed to write your letter as its own document, or to include your letter in an email. However, some companies may prefer print copies of your cover letter and resume. You should find out which in format companies would like your cover letter as soon as possible. Before writing your application cover letter, you are also encouraged to contact the potential employers or recruiters to ask questions about the position to reference in your letter. For instance, you could inquire about a detailed job description and what qualities they are expecting in applicants. Additionally, you should contact friends or family members who may be familiar with the company, and ask for their permission to be listed in your cover letter. Mentioning professional connections to your cover letter can inform employers or recruiters that you are reliable, and are accustomed to the industry or work environment
While every cover letter will differ, the steps for completing cover letters remains the same. To write an effective cover letter, you should follow these simple steps:
By structuring your cover letter this way, you can easily accomplish everything a cover letter is intended to cover – such as referencing your resume, and encouraging the employer or recruiter to consider you for employment. However, there are some things you need to remember while constructing your cover letter. These include:
Finally, it is essential to include all required information in your cover letter to guarantee employers or recruiters can contact you with additional details and determine the position for which you are applying. Consequently, you should always have the following information in your cover letter:
As your first, written communication with a potential employer, a cover letter is extremely important. Typically, cover letters accompany resumes, but they may also be submitted separately, depending on the company’s requirements. Even if hiring companies do not require you to submit a cover letter, you are still advised to attach a copy of a cover letter to your application to show you have put in significant effort.
When applying for a new job, writing a cover letter should be a priority. A cover letter tends to be a huge determining factor of employment, perhaps equaling – or even surpassing – the importance of a resume while job hunting. Additionally, cover letters are used as a part of the application process for most graduate school programs and some internships and apprenticeships. Therefore, understanding how to write an effective cover letter can help you advance in your professional career, and succeed in attaining high-paying jobs.
In cover letters, you can explain aspects of your resume that may need explanations, such as your lack of work experience or a recent layoff. As opposed to resumes, cover letters give you the opportunity to highlight the value of your abilities, and turn a seemingly adverse situation into an advantage.
Another benefit cover letters offer you is the chance to state how you differ from other applicants. While resumes adhere to strict, bulleted formats, cover letters use full sentences, and give you the liberty to diversify yourself. This benefit of cover letters can set you apart from applicants, and help you make a lasting impression.
Cover letters enable you to demonstrate your intelligence and writing skills, as well. In an effective cover letter, employers can see how well you write and explain your abilities. When you submit a cover letter that is free of mistakes and common errors, it allows you to be seen as a competent, potential employee.