One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “Do I need to have a Cover Letter?” Our answer is “If it’s a good one, yes.”. The Cover Letter’s purpose is to accompany your Resume. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your accomplishments and showcase your soft skills and passions. The Cover Letter format allows more flexibility and creativity then a Resume.
On the flipside, a Cover Letter that is rushed, contains errors or is disjointed can work against you. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages, can help you determine if it is necessary to include with your next job application.
Advantages of Cover Letters:
It can be an attention grabber. The Cover Letter will enhance your application package. It should entice the reader to pick up your Resume or reinforce their decision that you are a good fit. The information in your Resume and Cover Letter should complement each other. Use it to highlight your achievements.
You can showcase your personality. This is a place to show and create interest about yourself. The goal of the Cover Letter is to make the person reading it want to meet you. Demonstrate your talents and skills in a way that shows your unique style and ideas.
It gives you a chance to show your interest in a position. It is important to pick some unique reason which attracted you to the specific role. You can give specific instances where past role gives you an advantage for the new position.
Disadvantages of Cover Letters:
It has the wrong focus. If it highlights unrelated skills to the position this can be a bad first impression. Make sure it emphasizes how the company would benefit from selecting you. Read the job description to assess skills needed for the role, while focusing on how the skills you possess align to them.
It takes time to customize. If you are using a generic Cover Letter this can be counterproductive by communicating that you aren’t putting forth the effort. Spend the time understanding each roles requirements and how to position your skills and experience.
Our conclusion is that it is best to incorporate a well written, thoughtful and customized Cover Letter. Having a template at the ready, makes it easier to modify, thus saving plenty of time.
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