When finding a job posting you want to apply to online, many look at their resume, tweak it a bit, and hastily attach it to an e-mail saying something along the lines of “attached is my resume for the job posting”. If this is you, before you’ve even clicked send, your chances of scoring an interview are slim. Most candidates underestimate the importance of a well-thought-out email cover letter in landing a job. This article will look at why you should never forget an email cover letter whenever you’re looking to be hired, and how to go about crafting a cover letter that will land you the job you desire.
What does having a cover letter do?
In discussing professionalism in the workplace, Masooma Murtaza Lotia underscores the importance of other factors that determine professionalism aside from expert knowledge. For example, proficiency and dedication are also key factors in which professionalism is judged. When applying for a job online, how do you show proficiency and dedication? While your resume details your expert knowledge, it doesn’t necessarily demonstrate your work ethic. One of the best ways to communicate this to your potential employer is through a cover letter.
Inc explains how having a cover letter conveys to your potential employer that you have reviewed their company and thoroughly understand the needs of their business. Moreover, it proves to them how they are your employer of choice. A cover letter explains why you applied for a particular position and determines how your background and personality fit with their organizational culture and vision. It shows your desire to work for their organization because of similarities with your own personal values.
Essentially, a cover letter gives potential employers a brief glimpse into who you are beyond the list of credentials in your resume. Given the value of the document, this personalized letter could play a big hand as to whether you land the job or not.
How do I go about drafting a cover letter?
Cover letters may differ based on industry and position. Moreover, since letters reflect your style, cover letters vary depending on how you’d like to present yourself. You can opt for a more “salesy” approach or be direct and to the point. Special Counsel highlights that while there are different ways to format a cover letter, there are certain key components that should be present in any successful document. General do’s for cover letters is to mention the title of the position you wish to apply to in the subject line and body of the email. It’s also important to explain how you found out about the job posting. Each cover letter also needs to be forward-looking, so it’s necessary to include a call to action such as “I look forward to hearing from you”, or “I’d gladly expound on this more when we meet”. When concluding your letter, make sure to list your full name and contact information in your email signature block.
It’s also important not to over complicate your letter. Make sure to keep it concise as to not overwhelm your potential employer. It also goes without saying to avoid any spelling or grammatical errors in your letter. If you’re applying to multiple organizations, make sure that you never misaddress the company or the company contact’s name since this can indicate your inattentiveness to detail. Proofreading therefore is necessary before every submission.
When to send a cover letter
The Balance Careers believes that it’s almost always right to send a cover letter for any job posting. It’s a great way to make a good impression on a prospective employer and show that you’re the right candidate for the job. In instances where you’re applying though a particular website and there’s no way to upload a cover letter, it’s okay to forego it. Also, if the employer specifically states what they’d like to see in your job application and how you should format it, you don’t have to write a cover letter if it’s not included in their list. This can make it seem like you’re not good at following directions. Aside from that however, it’s always best to have include one.