Considering the importance of cover letter can make it daunting to start drafting one, especially if it's for an opportunity you want to take up.
I've talked about career aspects like dealing with a toxic boss or 2-week notice letter templates and I've been published on sites like Her Campus and UpJourney, so you can trust me to tackle the importance of cover letter for a job application. With it, you can get your dream career without stressing about the results.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a document attached to your resume that gives hiring teams more personalized insight into your work experience. It details how your past work applies to the role you are currently applying for and what value you add to the position. When requested, the cover letter is an employer's first impression of you as an individual, making it important to highlight applicable skills and abilities based on the job description.
Usually, employers will read the cover letter before moving to look at your CV or resume. So, if and when a cover letter is requested, it is essential to ensure it is properly written to meet the job requirements. Otherwise, employers going through handfuls of applications may not even take a look at your resume if they deem your cover letter inadequate. If you've ever asked 'what is the importance of a cover letter?' it may sound overwhelming at first.
Is a Cover Letter Necessary in 2022?
When applying for a job, you are usually asked to submit an updated resume and a cover letter. However, you might question whether cover letters are still a thing these days. The answer is that it depends. Employers often require a cover letter in the job application form under the requirements.
Some employers require applicants to submit a cover letter together with their resume. A study by CareerBuilder reveals that almost half of HR managers think cover letters are a great way to boost your resume. Recruiters also read cover letters to help them decide whether to hire the applicant or move on to the next candidate.
You can also include a cover letter even if it is not required. It will make a powerful impression that you are serious about getting the job. Cover letters should tell employers that you are there to offer solutions because you need a job. But if the employer explicitly mentions you should not submit a cover letter, you don't need to submit one.
How to Write a Cover Letter
You should include a cover letter in your application if the potential employer or hiring manager requires it or when someone refers you for the job. The importance of cover letter inclusions in your application also allows you to showcase how your skills and job experiences directly match what they are looking for in the role you've applied for. While writing a cover letter may seem daunting, we'll go through some aspects here.
1. Address a specific person.
Cover letters are usually addressed to the business owner or the HR manager. The main difference between a cover letter and a resume is to ensure that you can show firsthand your skills and experience to what your prospective employer requires. As a job seeker, it is in your best interest to ensure that you highlight what the recruiter is looking for in the job description.
2. Make sure that your cover letter fits on one page.
As the name suggests, an effective cover letter should always strive to be as concise as possible in as little as one page. This letter will directly adhere to your communication skill and writing qualification. Additional resources and excess information should remain limited at all times. Too much bloat will harm your standing compared to the other candidates applying.
3. Use formal block paragraphs with spaces in between lines and paragraphs.
A cover letter requires the application to be as professional and consistent as possible. Your information may not have the same results as others, but there is a formal approach and format to how you space and formulate your letter. Keeping a watchful eye on your block paragraphs and spacing will help differentiate your letter from other potential competition you may have.
4. The opening paragraph contains what position you are applying for.
The first paragraphs in the cover letter usually address your strong intention to apply for the position. Always ensure that your cover letter directly pertains to the specific situation your job requirement entails. Avoid adding unnecessary fluff not part of the relevant experience for your position.
Your opening paragraph should express what job position you are applying for and your intent for HR to consider your application.
5. The second paragraph explains why you should be considered for the position.
The subsequent sections should justify why you are fit for the job position. This second paragraph should include relevant work experience and skills you can bring to the table. Avoid telling them you are the "best person for the job" or any other large vague claims because the hiring manager will ultimately decide.
6. End politely in the third paragraph and express interest in hearing from them soon.
A great cover letter should address the hr manager directly with a polite and professional note acknowledging and thanking the manager for the opportunity to have them read your cover letter. Adding phrases like dear hiring manager can turn your letter into a strong cover letter as it showcases that you can be a good fit in their work structure.
7. Be careful of typos and grammatical mistakes.
Your cover letter will not only gauge your accomplishments and records, but it can also determine your ability to scout grammatical errors as a writer. It would be best to showcase your writing ability since it can determine your position in a formal environment. Larger corporations will place more emphasis on your grammar and writing than others.
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Example of a Good Cover Letter
If you are still unsure about the specifics of writing the perfect cover letter, here is an example:
Dear (Insert HR Manager),I admire the work that (insert company name) has done. As someone with prior experience in the industry, I am enthusiastic about applying for the role of (insert job title here). (Insert company name) has made great strides in advancing the industry towards a more progressive work environment.
With that, my goal of working closely with a well-respected company sharing a similar vision enhances my capabilities in contributing to the industry in an impactful way. Applying the skills and knowledge I have gathered from (insert applicable work or role), in which (describe positive results of work here).
I am confident that my expertise will find a valuable place in (insert company name). I remain passionate and goal-oriented in the work I do and strive to expand my capabilities to make the most of the opportunity presented to me in applying for (insert position).
I welcome the chance to discuss my application further, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Name and signature
Frequently Asked Questions
Creating a strong cover letter requires some understanding of the complex processes of keeping each formal paragraph block as consistent as possible. You also need to ensure that the letter contains enough information about yourself and how you can qualify as a potential candidate for the job position you are targeting.
Will a cover letter increase my chances of getting hired?
The answer depends on the company that you are trying to apply for. Not every HR will require potential candidates to submit a cover letter for hire. However, it is widely believed that sending a well-made cover letter alongside your resume can help boost the chances of being selected for an interview or even getting hired.
Should I bring a copy of my cover letter to the interview?
Your letter will help showcase to your interviewer your strong desire and intent to be considered a great candidate for the specific job. Some of the interview questions you may receive from the HR manager can use your cover letter as proof that showcases your ability to handle particular tasks they may require.
Can I memorize my cover letter and use it as answers to the interview questions?
Of course, your cover letter houses some of your greatest accomplishments and feats that put you ahead of the competition. Memorizing parts of your letter allows you to seem confident and proud of the achievements you have acquired throughout your tenure and would even earn praise from your HR manager.
Do hiring managers prefer simple or elaborate cover letters?
The main importance of a cover letter is that each paragraph block properly adheres to the traditional standard needed. Although making a cover letter look and sound more elaborate can help it stand out from others, you still have to ensure that the words written in the letter contain all the necessary information pertaining to the job requirement at hand.
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The importance of a cover letter helps progress your career by allowing you to showcase your qualifications and intent to apply for a specific position in a more personal manner. Remember that a strong cover letter requires proper formal writing to be as effective as possible.