Is the cover letter dead? It’s not! But it can work against you and your resume if you don’t know how to create an effective cover letter.
It’s a longstanding business practice to send a resume with a cover letter. In the past, job applicants mailed the letter with a resume. Today, most job applications happen electronically with the cover letter sent as an attachment with your resume.
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted cover letter. Here’s what you need to know about creating a general cover letter.
What is a Cover Letter?
Your cover letter is how you introduce yourself to an organization. When hiring for a job, recruiters or Human Resources personnel can get tens or sometimes hundreds of resumes for a job opening. Your cover letter can help you and your resume stand out from the masses and catch the attention of the hiring team.
What Does a Cover Letter Include?
Excellent cover letters are a value-add to a resume. Your cover letter shouldn’t recap what’s on your resume. A hiring manager can read your accomplishments, job history, and qualifications on the resume itself.
Use your cover letter to talk about your “why’s”:
- Why are you interested in this company?
- Why do you want to work there?
- Why are you applying for the job?
- Why do you think you’re a good fit for the company and the position?
Think of your cover letter as your “pre-interview.” A resume is a piece of information, while your cover letter should start a conversation that leads to book an interview with the hiring team.
Connect Yourself to the Job Role
Help the hiring manager see you in the role through your cover letter. Connect your qualifications and interest to the job in the text of your letter. Don’t plead or convince. Use the letter to relay your relevant experience and convey your enthusiasm about the job.
Leave Out Your Personal Life
While you might need this job to pay bills or support your family, a hiring manager doesn’t need to know that. Avoid including personal details in your cover letter.
Be sure your cover letter remains professional and career-focused.
Start With a Template
Today’s cover letters are more creative than simple words typed on a page. Instead of using a word-processing program, make cover letters online. Give them some personality to help yours stand out from the others. An online template can help you personalize each cover letter to touch on the specifics of each company and job on your application list.
Your General Cover Letter Can Help You Get the Job!
A professional general cover letter can help you get the job you really want! Your cover letter helps a hiring manager see the person behind the qualifications and job history on your resume. It’s worth it to take the time to craft an excellent letter.
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