The Power of a Cover Letter
In today’s crowded job market, you must stand out. It is not unusual for recruiters to get hundreds – or even thousands – of applicants for every position. A way to get a potential employer’s attention, outshine the competition, and be memorable is with a well-written cover letter.
A recruiter’s first impression of you, even before your resume, is the cover letter. That is why it’s such an essential part of your job search. A persuasive, compelling cover letter highlights the information in your resume so they want to know more about you and your background.
Why Is a Cover Letter So Important?
A cover letter is a one-page document accompanying your resume that details why you are well-suited for a position. It’s a much more in-depth opportunity to explain how your skills and experience connect you with the job.
Your cover letter shows you’re a committed candidate who has researched the company. Before writing it, follow your potential employer on social media, read the website, and speak with current and past employees. The more you understand its goals and mission, the better you can explain how you plan to contribute to its growth and success.
Personality often plays a role in who ultimately lands a job. A resume is a great vehicle to show your qualifications and experience, but it doesn’t necessarily showcase your style or communication skills. A cover letter is an opportunity to do just that.
Lastly, if you have any gaps in your employment history or career changes, you can explain them in the cover letter. Perhaps you were a stay-at-home mom while your children were young – this is a valuable endeavor but not easily added to a resume.
You should submit a cover letter when:
- The posting requests one
- If the job announcement says it is optional
- If you have specific information that you can’t adequately convey on your resume
How to Write a Great Cover Letter
- Check, double-check, and check again – Typos look careless and unprofessional. A polished, error-free cover letter shows you are detail-oriented and deliberate. Fortunately, there are many tools, such as Grammarly, to help.
- Make it easy to read – Long paragraphs can be dense and boring, while short ones emphasize points and create natural breaks. Choose an easy-to-read font that a hiring manager won’t have to squint to read. When recruiters must go through hundreds of resumes, they will likely skip illegible cover letters.
- Namedrop to get the recruiter’s attention – Mentioning mutual connections builds trust. Referrals tell the hiring manager that someone they respect thinks you’d be a good fit for the position.
- Address the hiring manager by name if you know it – This shows you took the time to find out their name if it wasn’t readily available.
- Show enthusiasm – Express excitement for the job, but don’t act desperate! The best way to do that is by mentioning specific aspects of the position that excite you and why.
- Include the “why” – Have you always admired the company? Do you love its products or believe in its mission? Say so!
- Explain why you’re an excellent fit – Search the job description for clues. Mention if you have experience solving a specific “problem” or challenge they have. Back it up with examples and numbers or other measurable achievements.
- Include a strong conclusion – Thank the hiring manager for considering you for the position, summarize your skills and qualifications, and close professionally with “sincerely” or “respectfully.”
Looking for Your Dream Job? Epic Placements Can Help
The amazing team at Epic Placements understands how challenging it is to get a recruiter’s attention and land the job. Our dedicated recruiters are 100% committed to helping you find the best fit so you can accomplish your career (and life) goals. Contact us to learn more about how we help job seekers and companies.