Cover letter: why is it important, and how to compose it correctly?
A cover or motivational letter is a valuable addition to the resume that answers the questions: why you are suitable for the vacant position, what benefits you can bring, and why you should be selected. This is a simple narration of a candidate about himself as a specialist, except it is future-oriented. Such addition to the resume writing services can come in handy if there are many candidates for one position. In that case, a motivational letter can turn into a gift from the gods so that you will be invited for the job interview.
The value of a Cover letter
The value of a cover letter lies in the fact that it is not a mandatory condition of the application process. Briefly, you have a fantastic opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants profitably. In some cases, employers indicate that applicants are requested to attach such a letter. There is even a common phrase: “Resumes without cover letters are not accepted”. So, remember the mere fact that a cover letter is included cannot guarantee that your resume will be opened and read. Properly drafted, the letter can help you not only get yourself noticed by a potential employer but also make a favourable impression, especially if your sphere is highly competitive.
Why is Cover letter necessary?
It’s already pretty well established that the essential point of a cover letter is to emphasize your resume in the sight of a recruiter. Not to mention that this annexe is a fantastic opportunity to paint yourself in the best light, showcasing your ability to phrase things as well as your writing skills logically. This is a crucial asset if the candidate claims the position to work with the text. For example, writing the accompanying letter is always worth copying, marketers and designers. The cover letter is helpful if information from the summary should be explained. For example, you decide to change the profession and do not have a unified experience. Then the cover letter should explain why you chose to make such a shift and what made you see yourself in the new sphere. The most apparent bonus for you as a candidate is that you show your employer your interest in the vacancy and tell about yourself more than your resume does by attaching the annexe.
Let’s take a peek now at some fundamental rules of composing a cover letter.
- The size – The size – top-notch cover letter is that of 4 small paragraphs’ size. Try to fit your text on one page; it will be even better if youmanage to half it. Bear in mind that the letter should look solid and finished.
- The style – it’s cut and clarity that the type of your cover letter should be as formal as possible but still without exaggeration. It is better not to use cliches, and official jargon or complex speech turns. For illustrative purposes, the most common introductory sentence sounds like this: I ask you to consider my resume for the position …”, the appallingly tedious cliche, isn’t it? Naturally, far better to replace it with something similar but more engaging. You can rewrite it with: “I want to work in the company” X “, or” I was interested in the vacancy of the sales manager in your company, “or” I want to become part of the “X” team, namely, to hold a lawyer’s post. “
Structure and content
The cover letter must be structured around the advantages for the employer. Briefly, it is essential to clarify what the company will receive if it decides to hire you.
To begin with – nothing new, just run-of-the-mill greetings for the potential employer. Specify which job position you respond to and tell where you learnt about it. This way, you highlight that your writing targets a particular company, not massive distribution to all employers. If the recruiter’s name is indicated in the vacancy, refer to it by name in the cover letter. The recruiter will appreciate your attentiveness. If you send a resume with the cover letter on a specialized portal, it is unnecessary to write where you learned about the vacancy.
- The main body – explain why you want to work in this company and what exactly attracts you in vacancies. Next, write about the professional qualities that the company will drive benefits from. If you feel you don’t meet all the vacancy requirements, it is better to write about it straight away and add what you plan to do with it.
- The concluding part – at the end of your letter, thank the potential employer for reading your letter and consideration. Write that you are ready to come for an interview if your candidature is satisfying. In marketing, there is the concept of CTA or Call To Action. When they write what to do with the received information at the end of an advertising text, you can see it. This technique can go in handy in the cover letter too. For example, encourage your potential employer to call you or invite you for a job interview in the future. Lines like this would fit in just perfectly: “Feel free to call – I will be glad to talk to you on the phone or meet with you.”
Copy of the resume – the accompanying letter is not supposed to be duplicate information from the resume. The right thing to do is to complement it. For example, if a bit of work experience is specified in summary or breaks last a few months, you can explain the reason in your cover letter. For example, if you lack experience, tell more about knowledge and skills acquired previously and how they will help you cope with the tasks in a new place. If there was a break in work, explain what you did during the time—for example, promoting qualifications or studying for a new profession.
A long-read about yourself – reading long cover letters is complex, and no one wants to do it. As a rule, recruiters scan letters diagonally, paying attention to individual parts based on which they decide to work with a candidate further or not. Not to mention the recruiter may not have time to scrutinize candidates’ essays.
Personal life. In the cover letter, there is no place for personal information. For example, how many children or dogs you have, who you like to spend the weekend with, or your favourite summer destinations are entirely inappropriate. The text should be dedicated to what you, as a specialist, will be your real value to the company.
That’s it with the ins and outs of a successful cover letter. You only have to sit down and write down yours! Keep in mind the cover letter must be neat and pleasant to the eye so that the employer wants to read it.
Carmella Andersson works as a resume writer for Resumes On-Time company. It allows her to improve her critical and creative thinking skills.