Do You Need a Cover Letter? July 2, 2017

Do You Need a Cover Letter?

The cover letter. It’s the peanut butter to the resume’s jelly. Some argue that the cover letter has become outdated, and is tool that is seldom used or read by the people that matter. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Do you need a cover letter?

Should you really bother with custom cover letters for each job. The answer is “yes.”

Even though recruiters may be busy with a high volume of resumes, and you may believe that they’ll seldom read them, chances are they’ll take a quick look to see if it matches their job requirements. Even HR staff with recruiting responsibilities will quickly skim through a cover letter to see if it matches their requirements.

Why?

Because a good cover letter correlates your skills with the EXACT job requirements. Creating a good general template for a cover letter will be instrumental in your job search.

Benefits of a Good Cover Letter

Creating customized cover letters for each job shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile for the job. It shows attention to detail and actual interest in the open position. Whereas, simply sending a resume can appear as job spamming.

Additionally, your resume may have an immense amount of experience, but your recruiter may not be able to digest it all and apply it to the open job. Using your cover letter to explain how your skills translate is instrumental in landing your next gig.

What to include in your cover letter

So you know that you need a cover letter — now what?

Let’s talk about the content that should be included.

  • Use facts, numbers and ratios
  • Avoid using fluffy content and get straight to the point.
  • Keep it with objective proof. Let the recruiters know what you did, what your measurable impact was, and how you can take that experience to benefit your next company.
  • Maintain a concise cover letter. You’re trying to quickly get their attention and interest, not write a novel. Keep it to a single page.
  • Include the job title in the cover letter. Recruiters may have several jobs posted and this helps reduce their number of headaches.
  • Describe your unique positioning. Why you’re better than everyone else and what sets you apart.
  • Ask them to contact you (even if you plan on contacting them).

 

Cover Letter Sample (Java Developer)

I understand you are seeking a Java developer with 10 years of experience in banking, who also knows C# and has an MBA.         {List the position and requirements}

Having the highest Java certification level, 14 years in Java banking applications, taught four classes in C# at Harvard (helped define industry standards), plus assembly, .net and 3 other languages, quad lingual (so can help with international teams), with an MBA from Stanford, perhaps I can help?

{Matches your background to requirements, shows several unique advantages}

Please review my resume and call or e-mail to see if we have a good fit – based on your description, I think we do.

{Asking for a response}

Best regards,

Name, phone, e-mail

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