Many of us dread writing our cover letters because it’s always the most tedious task. But is it worth putting in the effort of writing a cover letter when there’s a high chance that the cover letter won’t get read? Or when the job description says optional? The answer, which may not surprise anyone, is Yes! It is crucial to write a cover letter for each job application and customize it to the job, not just write a generic cover letter and paste it into the application. Now, why is it so important?
The first reason is that it helps explain your story better. Resumes are often filled with an abundance of facts and keywords. Applicants would focus on cramming as much of their experiences, achievements, and skills into one sheet of paper as possible. However, cover letters allow applicants to form a more coherent story. Applicants can better explain their experiences at certain job positions, why they’re passionate about what they do, and why there was a gap in their employment history between the summer of 2018 and fall of 2019. A cover letter will provide candidates with the chance to define their personal brand as well as what they value in a job and the company.
The second reason is to build a relationship with the employer and show them that you’re genuinely interested in the position. According to Zety, about 26% of recruiters read cover letters and consider them critical in their decision to hire. However, 56% of recruiters want applicants to attach a cover letter with their application. And 49% of HR managers believe a cover letter is one of the best things a candidate can include in their application to give them a boost. Even when recruiters aren’t reading the cover letter attached, seeing that an applicant has attached a cover letter shows that they took the time and effort to fill out the respective application; instead of mass sending your resume to different companies.
The last key reason for a cover letter is when you have a reference. Often, people apply for a job at a company that their friends, family, colleagues work at. They would then ask whomever that’s working at the company to reference them. Cover letters allow candidates to explain how they came to be interested in the company, who they spoke with, and who their reference is for the position. When candidates include references in their cover letters, it acts as a reassurance for many companies. It shows the company that other employees trust this candidate has the necessary skills and is genuinely interested in working for the company. However, applicants cannot talk about the people who referenced them in their resumes. Cover letters, on the other hand, are ideal for such a situation.
For more resources on the importance of cover letters visit: The Muse, Indeed, or Monster. For more career advices visit us via our Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Or reach us through our email or website.