When you are sending a resume to an employer you must include a cover letter. The cover letter is as important as the resume because the employer will first read the cover letter.
It is important that the cover letter include the information that will present you well. You must include in the cover letter your interest for the company, the link between your work experience, competencies and the position and also the benefit for the employer to hire you.
Why send a cover letter?
The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce your resume. It is the “key” that opens a potential employer ‘s door. It triggers his interest and invites him to read your resume. In fact, it plays the role of a “sales pitch “ to get an interview. Sending a resume alone is not enough.
You must mention the reasons why you are applying for the position, what you have to offer and why he should hire you instead of someone else. You cannot communicate this information without the cover letter.
The cover letter is important for another reason i.e it shows the employer that you put in the time and effort to prepare your offer. When sending a resume without a cover letter the employer can think that you don’t have a genuine interest in that company.
Do not send a general cover letter i.e sending the same letter to all employers while just changing the names. By doing so, you are showing a lack of interest and professionalism. What counts for the employer is not only a list of experience and competencies but your motivation to work for this company.
When to use the cover letter?
You must attach a cover letter every time you send a resume, following a job offer, at the employer’s request after a telephone conversation or when it is not possible to hand in a resume.
The content of a cover letter
The cover letter must include the following information:
- General information such as company’s name and person’s name, title, address and title of the position sought, if applicable
- The source of the job lead, i.e. a job offer posted in the newspaper, a telephone conversation, a reference from an acquaintance or an application without a previous contact .
- A short summary of experience, education, qualities, competencies and aptitudes related to the position. Do not forget to mention the link with the job requirements.
- Request for an interview to further discuss your interest and competencies. Tell the employer you will call to make an appointment.
- Conclude with letter ending.
Do not forget to sign your letter and give the information to contact you.
When looking for work, you must demonstrate your interest to work for a company. The resume describes your work experience and education but it does not show your interest for the position and the company. The cover letter leaves more room for emotion and allows you to explain how your work experience and competencies fit the needs of the company and the job requirements.
Looking for work requires a full time structured method. Put better chances on your side. Update your resume, take control on your job search. Have a good cover letter and succeed in your interviews. Your efforts will be rewarded by finding a job that suits you.