“Cover letters are a waste of time.”
“No recruiter has time to read your cover letter.”
“If half of people don’t bother with a cover letter, why would you?”
We’ve been hearing it for years – that the art of the cover letter has been lost. That it’s turned into a half-hearted “about me” segment that simply lets job seekers wax lyrical about themselves, while repeating what’s in the CV anyway.
While some recruiters and employers do ignore cover letters, there is a percentage who do take note and appreciate the additional information. Depending on the role you are applying for, a cover letter can allow you present another side of yourself. It can give an employer extra insight into who you are, your background, and why you’re keen on the vacant role in a way that a list on a CV can’t.
Here are some reasons you might consider including a cover letter – or at the very least, a well thought-out blurb in the email your CV is attached to!
You can separate yourself from pack
A well-written and engaging cover letter can help your application stand out from hundreds of others. Think about interesting ways you can grab an employer’s attention beyond “Dear Ma’am/Sir”. Personalise it, and show you’ve done some research into the company. There’s no point in writing a cover letter that painfully explains the exact same information that’s in your resume – so leave the boring details out!
It’s an opportunity to sell yourself
Take it as a marketing strategy to better sell yourself for the position. An extra page allows you to share more information relevant to the job post. Focus on different aspects of your background, experience and personality to include – but remember not to make it too long! They want a quick snapshot, not an essay.
It allows you to show your relevant skills
Yes, your skills are included in your resume – but a cover letter is a platform where you can extrapolate one or two key competencies to delve into deeper. Ideally, these should be linked to your most recent roles, and include examples of how your skill helped you in your job, or to solve issues and challenges.
Portrays your communication abilities
The way you stitch your thoughts together is more important than you think. If your cover letter is poorly written with bad grammar and poor English, it’s going to work against you, rather than for you. A well-written cover letter will show an employer you are capable of communicating professionally, and that you’re aware of how you present yourself in a written form. These are both hugely important skills to have in any job.
Proof that you’ve done your homework
Lastly, a well-written cover letter will also include hints that you actually researched the company. It’s an indication of your interest in being a part of their organisation. Not many applicants take extra effort to research about prospective companies, and believe us, it’s a plus!
Looking for more advice on Resume & Cover Letters, click here