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When you apply for a job, you need be able to present the best version of yourself. You need to impress your potential employer of your qualification, skills, expertise, and experiences. With the hundreds of other interested candidates, you need to be able to capture the interest of your employer so that you will be given a chance to personally talk to them. And when you talk to them, you can personally impress them with you interest, determination, knowledge, confidence, and expertise regarding the position you have applied for. But how do you effectively impress and capture your potential employer without having to meet in person?
After all the years you have spent studying a specific area of knowledge, develop the necessary skills, and pass all the approving examinations to be called an expert on the field, you then apply for a job that best suits the skills and qualifications that you have. However, there will also be other candidates that have the same or even more relevant and significant qualifications than you. The edge that you thought you have over the others may be shadowed by their expertise as well. Therefore, you need to be able to present your advantages in a way that will surely capture your potential employer’s interest and favor. You need to be able to systematically present what you have that will immediately allow your potential employer to think that you’re the best fit. This guide will teach how you can present your qualifications, skills, experiences, and so on interestingly and logically through a cover letter.
A cover letter is the letter that accompanies your resume or curriculum vitae. It is a document that serves as your introduction as well as an introductory mention of your relevant educational background, skills, and experiences. Simply put, it is a written overview of what the employer or interviewer will see on your resume or CV.
As the name would suggest, the cover letter covers the resume or the CV. It is traditionally only a single-page long but holds the big responsibility of letting the employer get to know you as well as complementing what has been written on the resume or CV. In essence, it is your written sales pitch or elevator pitch that explains and expands on the reasons why you are the best suitable candidate for the position.
Since it is the covering document, it helps you express your interest and determination to get the job that you will not be able to do on your resume or CV. It is your best tool to set yourself apart from all the other qualified candidates. It can help you highlight your interest for the company and/or your enthusiasm for the job position and the responsibilities it entails. Aside from all of that, it can also catch the attention of the employer to take a look at your resume or CV and can even motivate the employer to give you a chance to be interviewed.
Aside from its significance in the search for employment, a cover letter is also very useful in internship applications, loan applications, business proposals, contract drafts and proposals, and others. The cover letter will convince the approving body/committee for whatever you are applying for. As mentioned before, it is a brief summary of your purpose and an introduction of yourself. Therefore, a cover letter is an essential document that will help you achieve and convince the other party to give your application a chance.
Since the cover letter is an important document for an application process, it needs to be to well-written and logically arranged. It needs to be able to clearly relay all the necessary and relevant information so that you can have the approval that you need. Listed below are the necessary contents that should be found in a cover letter:
If you send in an application without a cover letter, your resume will not be as effective in making an impact on its own. A cover letter can help strengthen your viability for the position and increases your odds of landing an interview. Here are some other reasons why it is necessary to include a cover letter in your application:
Although the objective or professional summary of your resume also does this, but it does not allow you to expand on what you are trying to say due to the word limit it applies. The cover letter will allow you introduce yourself, where you came from, and to elaborate on your significant experiences that will help convince the employer. It also allows you to explain your interest to the position; explains what makes you better suited for the position and exhibits what the company can achieve from you.
Since the cover letter is a written document that runs on how you can personally explain all the relevant information in a convincing manner, it demonstrates you writing prowess. Unlike a resume or CV that mostly consists of bullet points and short and rigid sentences, the cover letter is made of coherent paragraphs that allows you to write more fluently. And since most employers want to know your ability to communicate well be it writing format or verbal, a well-written cover letter helps you put the right foot forward.
With the constraints of your resume or CV, you cannot really elaborate the roles you have played and significant accomplishments you have achieved in your previous employment. In that sense, you may be forced to sacrifice relevant details in favor of length. Your cover letter will let you explain and draw attention to some of your notable experiences and qualifications that you think will help encourage the employer to give you a chance. Aside from that, it lets you display you personality, which is often more important than your qualifications.
Potential employers may interpret your lack of cover letter as you being nonchalant about the job and generally you being lazy. As mentioned, a cover letter will allow you to communicate with the employer in full and elaborate sentences unlike in a resume where short and clipped sentences are used. The cover letter also allows you to express your high regard and interest for the company and the position you are applying for. And that can be interpreted as you actually investing time to make a cover letter and being enthusiastic about the job.
Although your main goal is to have a resume or CV that can stand on its own, in case your resume or CV is not as persuasive you would like it to be, a cover letter will help you make up for it. Especially when you just graduated and your experiences are only limited to your previous internship, a cover letter will help you mention and display relevant skills that cannot be proven through your resume. And as you should know, there have numerous instances where a well-written, strong cover letter prompts a callback.
The cover letter also allows you to have a say about the follow-up process. Instead of leaving the next step up to your potential employer’s discretion, you can actually initiate and take control on the next step which is preferably a one-on-one interview. You can specify the date and time you can call them in the closing part of your cover letter. This will help eliminate the waiting game so that you can proceed to an interview or move on to another job opening.
In order to ensure that you make an effective cover letter, you need to at least know the basics that come with it. You need to know and understand how you can systematically and logically make the cover letter your ticket to success. And to help you with that, here is a list of the dos and don’ts when writing a cover letter:
A cover letter is a very useful document that can help you land that dream job. Although it is not meant to stand on its own as it is designed to complement a resume or CV, it holds the responsibility of giving you the best introduction to help boost your application forward. We hope the discussions as well as the examples were able to help you.