What is a cover letter, and why you should care about it
What is a cover letter? Why you should care about it?
Generally speaking, a cover letter is an introductory write-up that accompanies the main material you intend to send to the recipient. In employment, a cover letter refers to the brief letter you write when you submit a resume or job application to a company.
The cover letter is ideally to be written in such a way to get the reader interested in what you are offering (skills, qualifications, background, achievements etc.). It should be short, concise and gets to the point. At the same time, it needs to be engaging.
For some, writing a cover letter sounds and looks like a pretty daunting task. “There’s too much planning to do and too much time to spend,” many would complain. A lot also believe that hiring managers don’t read cover letters.
Well, more than half of the employers and hiring managers do read the cover letter before going through the resume. The other half either read half-heartedly or ignore it altogether. Time constraint has always been the most prevalent excuse for this, without realizing they may probably be spending longer time reading the resume afterwards.
Therefore, to increase your odd of getting a good impression in your job application, pay attention to this cover letter thing.
Much impression is already garnered when your cover letter is being read through. Sometimes, when two resumes are found to be competitively comparable, the cover letter can be a decisive factor. The one that hooks up the employer better has greater odds to win the battle.
Try to start writing a cover letter on your own first, underlying brief details about you and what you can offer to the company. Get help from your peers (with good writing skills) only when you really get stuck. After all, writing is an essential skill that can bring you far in your career. Consider this as a practice.
Other than writing cover letter for resume, there will be times when you need to draft similar letter for other purposes. These can include submitting scripts/manuscripts, applying for scholarship, soliciting answers to surveys/research, getting funding for your business and so on. A good cover letter acts as a complimentary to the main material, so avoid repetition of same information from the main submitted material (resume).
You do not need to be a literature expert to craft a good cover letter. As you have read above, a cover letter needs to be short, concise and engaging. If you can create an interview-winning resume, then there’s no reason for you not to create an equally compelling cover letter. It takes a few minutes, but it can have a long lasting effect.