A cover letter is required at all times when one cannot submit their resume directly to the hiring manager. Which probably is almost every time.
When is a cover letter necessary?
Apart from this, you may not require a cover letter if you apply online, many software systems would simply reject your cover letters.
According to numerous surveys, hiring managers are in favour of including cover letters. It gives them a fair idea about the candidate before they go through the resumes. It also gives them an idea that a particular mail is not spam and is not containing a virus.
You might think that writing a cover is counter productive to get you a job, that it has no use provided you have a stellar resume. Even though your job offer may mention that a cover letter is optional, you cannot treat it as optional if you treat your job as significant.
53% of the employers consider that a cover letter is important. Among job applicants only 47% write a cover letter. Get ahead of the league by enclosing a cover letter with your resume.
Your cover letter will be an essential tool for you to make a direct connection with your employer. You can explain your career gap or your reason behind changing careers.
How would a cover letter help me?
Apart from the convenience of your hiring manager, your resume will work for you in some of these ways-
This is one opportunity you just can't let go. Cover Letter makes a connection with your manager by sharing personal and professional reasons to join the company.
Tell them how your student life depended on their stationary products, or how you empathize with the brand's policies. You can also mention your area of interest and preferred department.
It is difficult to squeeze in this information in your resume, in this place a cover letter plays an important role, which basically matches your experiences to your job.
In order to make your cover letter productive, you must research about the company. The hiring manager must know that you have researched well about the work culture of the company and why you are a good fit for the organisation.
A cover letter will
A cover letter puts everything in neat paragraphs, what the hiring manager would look for in the resume and cover letter.
It's pretty simple to write a cover letter.
Some tricks and hacks to try.
An obvious mention here is that while writing a cover letter, you must not repeat information already on your resume. You must make your cover letter interesting, give the reader a reason to read your cover letter and move forward to reading your resume.
The cover letter must be addressed to a specific person, years ago, the term "to whomsoever it may concern" was commonly taught in schools, while writing formal letters. It was because finding the name of the hiring manager in those times was quite a task, nowadays it is easy to find the name from Linkedin and Google profiles, you may also follow it up by a quick phone call.
Another tip is to make the cover letter "employer focused", a personal interview may be about who you are as a person, but the cover letter must always describe how you can add value to the company and how you are a good fit.
Let your actions do the talking, don't use overused lines to describe your qualifications. Instead jazz it up by mentioning your accomplishments. Show what you have achieved. Quantify your achievements by mentioning monetary or percentage figures or other numbers, like number of people served, number of lives saved, affected etc.
Your cover letter can also bring to you the opportunity to bring to your manager's attention your past relevant experience which may not find a place on your resume due to technical and/or space issues.
You can also mention relevant training or certification which you have completed or on which you are currently working, on your cover letter which will always differentiate you from the rest of the candidates and may guarantee you an interview call.
Should I add a photograph?
Your photograph belongs neither to your cover letter nor to your resume, unless you are specifically required to do so by the company policies. However a good quality headshot photo with a clear background is required on your LinkedIn profile.
Take the alternate route!
Nowadays, companies use AI to reject candidates, it is one of the first screening methods to decrease the number of prospective candidates the hiring manager has to go through. Your resume, however deserving, may not make it to your manager's desk.
If your company requires you to apply online, you must drop a hard copy of your resume either by mail or by personal means. If it is not possible, then you may also email a cover letter and resume along with a note to your hiring manager.
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