If you are looking for a job or wanting to find a new career, you have probably spent a lot of time putting your resume together. While this is an important piece to getting an interview, something that is often overlooked is your cover letter. A great cover letter can be equally or even more important than your resume.
Here are three things great cover letters help to create and why they are important.
Everyone strives to make a great first impression, and who better to impress than someone who has the ability to offer you a job interview? Your cover letter provides a way to make your best possible first impression. You might have heard the saying, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Prospective employers might read your cover letter first before looking at your resume so you might as well put every effort into making it a great one. To make an even better first impression, make sure it is free of errors, is visually appealing and written on quality paper.
Your cover letter should be a showcase of your skills, talents, abilities and what you can bring to the job to which you are applying. Cover letters are not as restrictive as resumes as they allow you to explain things in detail. A cover letter lets you make your case as to why you think you are a perfect fit for the job and why the company should hire you. You can also write about achievements, awards, and accolades you have received. You can even write the cover letter in such a way that your people skills, team spirit, and adaptability come across. A well-written cover letter can also showcase both your analytical and creative abilities.
While you don't want to get too personal with a prospective employer, you will want to strive to make some sort of connection. Cover letters are important because it helps you do just that. If you already know the person you are writing to, you can remind them who are you and where you met them. If you have personal experience with the company to which you hope to work for, relay that information in your cover letter. The trick in making these kinds of connections is to make sure they are not made up or exaggerated. If you don't know the person or have no connection with the company, you can still strive to be personable and someone the company would want to hire.
Here are five key elements to keep in mind when creating that all-important cover letter:
Keeping these five elements in mind will help you write a successful and effective cover letter. Using these elements along with writing a cover letter that creates a great first impression, is a showcase of your abilities and helps you connect with your prospective employer, will increase your chances of landing an interview and possibly even a job.