The importance of a resume cover letter will differ from one employer to the next. Generally speaking, they do have real significance to an employer searching for the best candidate for a job opening. The cover letter is often the first thing that any potential employer reviews.
Normally the person reviewing the cover letter uses it as a means to help include or exclude a candidate as a potential employee. When taken together with the resume, a cover letter will generally state one or more candidates who might be ideal for an open position.
A well-written, thoughtful cover letter tells an employer that the candidate actually took the time to write a letter targeting the company’s goals. From an employer’s standpoint, a candidate who is capable of writing a good cover letter may be capable of excelling as an employee. At any rate, a cover letter that is well-written and error-free will probably set the candidate apart from many others vying for the same position.
So it’s definitely worth your while to take the time and effort to compose an outstanding cover letter. Also, you need to make sure it’s free of any mistakes before sending it to a potential employer.
Writing an Effective Cover Letter
When writing an interesting cover letter, there are a couple of points you should keep in mind if you’re going to maximize its effectiveness. To begin with, unless you know the specific person who will be reviewing your resume, it’s best not to assume a specific gender for your reviewer. However, you do want to make it easy for the reviewer to contact you, including your home phone number as well as your cell phone number. Make sure to state the position for which you are applying, so there’s no guesswork involved.
Early in the cover letter, you should be identifying the most important characteristics you bring to the table for the open job position. A good cover letter will also invite the reader to closely review your resume to learn more about you and to gain an understanding of prior educational and work experience. In the second paragraph of the cover letter, there should be a summary of your character, skills, and values.
Be specific about skills that you have, and match them to those required for the current job opening. Include a summary of your qualifications, and make sure to reinforce how you can bring real value to the organization. If the job posting requested your salary requirements, these should be included as well.
By the time the reviewer has finished reading your cover letter, they should have a good idea of who you are and what your values are. Lastly, the cover letter should include a call to action, such as contacting the candidate to set up a job interview.
Stating the Employer’s Requirements
Before you even apply for a specific job opening, you should make a point of confirming that you mostly have the skills being sought after for the job opening. While the amount of time may be negotiable, if you completely lack any experience in the industry, that’s going to be a tough thing to overcome in a job interview.
You might lack certain characteristics listed in the job posting. Show in your letter how you might be able to overcome them with a good work ethic and a solid attitude. Sadly, not all the job’s hard requirements are negotiable, so if you don’t stack up well at all against them, you might not get serious consideration. If you don’t meet any of the major qualities and characteristics being sought by the employer, you can explain how you can overcome these deficiencies in your letter as well.
Make sure to highlight those stellar qualifications you have which would be especially useful for this job opening. Anyone reviewing your cover letter and resume will be looking for those points to see whether you have the capabilities of bringing real value to their organization. Whatever specific qualities are not added in the job posting, should be mentioned in your cover letter and resume. You can highlight them as being skills and qualifications that you own that can also benefit the company.
This includes hard skills as well as soft skills, and one of the soft skills most sought by employers is leadership ability. Employees who can be leaders on the job can be very valuable to an organization. All because they can motivate and inspire other workers to perform at their best. It also helps if you have worked with teams in the past, have a demonstrated ability to perform well with others, and have a teamwork attitude.
If you can show that some of the skills you own have produced quantifiable results in the past, these should be mentioned in your resume. For instance, if your skills and experience led to an increase in production, this should be defined in your resume.
Also, if your work history shows steady professional growth and personal progress, this should be identified in your cover letter. Any qualities you have which are not supported by achievements in your resume should be noted in the cover letter as well.
All good cover letters should request an interview, so you can explain why you’re a great fit for the open position. The underlying goal of a cover letter is to kindle some interest in the reviewer meeting the candidate in person and finding out more about them.
If your cover letter results in you getting a personal interview with an employer, it has done its job. Now the rest of the work will be up to you in that personal interview. That will be your time to shine, and it will probably be the make-or-break mechanism that leads to you being hired, or to being one of the aspirants for the job.