Do I Need a Cover Letter with My Resume?

Today, many job seekers feel their resumes seem to disappear into a “black hole” after applying for a position. This has many wondering if there is any point in sending a cover letter with their resume. That answer is absolutely yes! While a cover letter won’t get you the job, it will give you a greater chance to be noticed among other applicants. Standing out can lead to an interview which is the only way you will get the opportunity to win the job.

An effective cover letter communicates so much to a recruiter and potential employer, specifically; from why you are interested in the open position to what relevant skills and experience you have to offer. With so many unqualified job seekers indiscriminately applying for hundreds of jobs, your resume will automatically stand out if you can demonstrate that you truly have a personal interest in a particular position and the qualifications and achievements to match.

Effectively explaining why you want the job requires you to cite those qualities and skills that personally make you a good candidate. Generally speaking, the likelihood that you would be a good fit for the position is directly related to your relevant experience and education; for example, a CPP could likely perform security management duties for a number of companies. However, telling an organization that you’ve “considered” obtaining a master’s degree in business administration makes your interest in the job personal, rather than objective and professional.

In an attempt to personalize their cover letters, job seekers often research a company by examining their website. While it’s good to know things such as what a manufacturing company makes or the volume of business a firm does annually, including facts like these in a cover letter is counterproductive. Hiring managers and recruiters already know all about their own company; what they don’t know is why you’d be an asset. Use the cover letter as an opportunity to sell your skills and ability. Save the facts and figures about the company for the interview. That’s where you want to use them.

Your willingness to write a cover letter confirms for the employer that you have a serious interest in a specific position. However, to be effective a cover letter should demonstrate your knowledge of the company by relating your personal achievements and qualities to that specific business or role. The people reading your resume or application don’t know anything about you. Your cover letter needs to sell you as a candidate, while your resume supports your assertions with specific details.

So, brush up that resume with specific achievements and accomplishments from each of your previous positions and then write a tailored covered letter before you hit the send key.

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