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Most people dread writing cover letters. Sometimes they require more effort and customization than your resume. Are you wondering if your cover letter is worth the extra effort? The answer is “Yes.”
Regardless of whether you think cover letters are “optional,” you should still include one with your resume. Just ask human resource or hiring managers.
In a 2009 survey, cover letters were preferred by 56% of hiring managers. Fast forward to today’s market where applicants can submit their résumé delivery by email or online, and the percentage drops to between 30% and 49%. So how do you tell whether the hiring manager that you are trying to impress reads cover letters? The answer is, there is no way of knowing.
What we do know is that the concept of introducing yourself and setting yourself apart will always be paramount in your job search. Therefore, submitting a cover letter gives you another opportunity to shine.
We also know that because the candidate screening processes has become increasingly digital and mobile, it is important that your cover letter is impactful and short enough to fit on a mobile screen.
Here are three essential guidelines for writing a cover letter:
1. Make sure your cover letter goes beyond your resume.
Your cover letter is more than an opportunity to re-state your education history and experience. When reading your cover letter, your potential employer can hear your voice through your writing style. When writing your cover letter, make sure to include insights into your work ethic and values. Finally, make sure you write in an engaging style showing that you are motivated and eager to be a part of the team.
2. What do you know about the company and position you are applying to?
Before beginning to write, research the employer and job position thoroughly. Research can go a long way in the application process; it will show that you have an attention to detail. Make sure to customize your cover letter each time you apply for a new position. Finally, always research the hiring manager’s name before addressing your letter.
3. Use your cover letter to show how your skills go beyond the criteria of the position you are applying for.
Your cover letter should expand on your resume, not re-state it. Expand on a specific section of your previous work experience or on the unique skills you bring to the position. Directly address how you will be an asset to the company beyond the required job responsibilities. Furthermore, as you expand on these different aspects, make sure to limit your cover letter to one page. This will save the hiring managers’ time and be much appreciated.
If you are ready NOW to take the next step to advance your career, call us today. At Strategic Recruitment Solutions, are your one-stop shop for information, guidance, and insight into the legal and IT markets. For decades we have been instrumental in helping job seekers find their dream jobs. To get started, search our current opportunities or submit your resume today.