If you have ever applied for a job or even took a ‘job readiness’ class in high school or college, you’ve likely heard of a cover letter. However, you might not know if it is still relevant today, it’s main purpose, and how to write the perfect one. Don’t fret, Jobs Market has you covered. Our latest blog dives into everything you need to know about cover letters.
Are Cover Letters Still Important?
Short answer, yes. Some hiring managers and employers still list they require them. Meanwhile, many do not. But just because it isn’t required doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It is helpful to know the benefits of a cover letter before you make a final decision on if you should do one.
A few advantages a cover letter provides job seekers include:
- Clarify skills and background
- Opportunity to stand apart from other applicants
- Gives additional information
Clarify Skills and Background
Cover letters allow you to elaborate on your skills and both educational and professional background, where a resume does not. At most resumes include bullet points for these items, but do not dive deep into how they translate into being an ideal applicant for a job. For example, a resume might say you gained SEO experience as marketing assistant. But in a cover letter you can clarify what that SEO experience is and how it will help their company in this new position.
Opportunity to Stand Apart from Other Applicants
Many people do not include or utilize cover letters. They merely send a resume. By sending a cover letter you are going that extra mile to impress your potential employer. It shows you took the time to really think about applying for that position and clarifying how you are the right person for it.
Gives Additional Information
Resumes are only meant to be a snapshot of your skills, experience, and education. In most instances, they should only be one page. If you’ve been in the work force for a while, then you might have a lot to share. That means everything is generally ‘crammed’ into that one resume. A cover letter allows you to go into a little more detail about yourself and elaborate on relevant resume points.
What is the Main Purpose of a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is merely a marketing technique. It has two main purposes, which are:
- Grab attention enough to make them care about reading your resume.
- Sell them on why you are right for the position.
This document will be the first they see about you. Whether you use your email to the hiring manager as your cover letter or attach it while applying on an online platform, it’s the first impression. You need to grab their attention enough to make them want to read your resume next.
Next, this is your perfect opportunity to sell the hiring manager on why you are right for their position. Clarify how your unique skillset and background would let you excel in the role, and help their company.
How To Write The Perfect Cover Letter
A cover letter should be simple and direct. You do not want to fill it with ‘fluff’ text just to add words. This document should be about quality not quantity.
Some things to include:
- How your background makes you a perfect fit for the role
- Why they should choose you
- Contact information – yes, it’s on your resume but always include it
- Mention something specific to their company – utilize their website and social media for this
We’ve linked below to an example generic cover letter/template to help you get started. Remember you will need to customize a cover letter to the job and your background. We recommend you write a different cover letter for every position you apply for. Even if it they are all similar, you want to craft it to that company and that specific role.
Cover Letter Template
December 7, 2021
Dear Hiring Manager (if you know their name include it here instead),
I am very interested in learning more about your TITLE position as it closely matches what I am looking for in a role. My experience and education would be very beneficial to this role and allow me to take it to the next level for your company.
Paragraph discussing specific skills you possess and how they would benefit you in this role. (3-4 sentences)
Paragraph discussing specific experience you possess and how they would benefit you in this role. (3-4 sentences)
Paragraph discussing specific education you possess and how they would benefit you in this role. (3-4 sentences)
Paragraph discussing positive things you noticed about the company online (website or social media) and how you feel you’d fit into their company culture. (2-3 sentences)
Closing paragraph – focus on why they should choose you and how you can help them in this role. Maybe even give an idea on something you would suggest they do. For instance, if applying for a social media manager position, give an example social media post that would get them engagement. Be sure to thank them for their time as well.
LinkedIn Profile Link and/or Portfolio Link
Check out the rest of the great blogs in our ‘Getting a Job in 2022’ series.
- Part 1 – Set Yourself up for Success!
- Part 2 – Top 10 Resume Tips
- Part 3 – Everything You Need to Know About Cover Letters
- Part 4 – Where to Start on Your Job Search?
- Part 5 – Four Tips for Preparing for an Interview
- Part 6 – Follow-Up & Staying Focused on Your Job Hunt
- Part 7 – Importance of Temp Jobs & Freelance Work & How to Not Get Discouraged
Have more questions on your job search now? Complete our simple contact form and we will be in touch. We want to help you on landing that dream job or switching careers!