Why You Need a Cover Letter (and What to Include)

Why You Need a Cover Letter (and What to Include)

When applying for a job, a lot of people are focused on fixing their resume and having the perfect email, but overlook the importance of cover letters. In reality, a covering letter for a job can encourage a company to consider you for an interview. 

Not all applicants attach a cover letter when sending an email to apply so in the chances that you do, you increase the chances of being noticed. Aside from this, a cover letter gives the impression of everything a company needs to know about you. In this article, we’ll be talking about why you need a cover letter and what to include.

Why is a cover letter important?

While it’s okay to apply with your most updated resume alone, a cover letter allows you to be noticed. In fact, most employers choose to interview those with an attached cover letter in their application because it gives an essence of who an applicant is. An adequate cover letter example would be making it a general cover letter for all job positions you apply for. Covering letter for resume gives you a chance to show your value to a company. First impressions matter when applying for a job and that’s precisely why you need a cover letter, especially a concise and persuasive one. The best job cover letter examples are those that effectively market your skills, expertise, and character to a company. If your resume exists to display your skills and experience, a cover letter exists to show an employer who you are and what you can contribute to a company. It’s how you can grab their attention and convince them of your unique skillset, compared to other applicants. Most importantly, a cover letter is your key to successfully landing a job, especially your dream job.

1. Customize for different job positions

An advisable cover letter template is to make it one you can send to each job position. This means writing a different cover letter for each job position you’re applying for. A hiring manager can see right through your cover letter, especially if you made one cover letter for all job positions you’re applying for – which they don’t like. A good cover letter example would be to target each cover letter for every job you apply for. For instance, your cover letter for a writing job would look different from one directed towards a marketing job. This way, you can highlight your three skills that are perfectly aligned to the job description. Observe the qualifications that a company needs and list down the skills you have aligned with their needs.

2. Keep it concise

An ideal resume cover letter example is to keep it concise as much as you can. There’s no need to make it as long as you can as employers are looking for quality over quantity. You must not fill your cover letter with unnecessary words but focus on substance and detail. The first few paragraphs should be effective enough in giving the hiring manager an impression of you so that’s what you should be focusing on. Convince the company why you would be a perfect fit for the company with your expertise, skills, and character. A cover letter is all about marketing yourself so don’t be afraid to reveal what you can offer the company.

3. Use proper format

Your cover letter format is everything as your hiring manager will immediately notice this. While you can use various cover letter formats according to your preference, stick to a business letter format for a professional cover letter example. Your contact information and the date should also be at the top of your cover letter. You’ll find that the format is similar to any formal letter with the according contact information of the sender and the receiver should be there. Use proper margin and spacing so your margin shouldn’t be too small to have proper white space. Lastly, pick a readable font otherwise, the hiring manager might be put off with your entire cover letter.

4. Stay authentic

Even as the very purpose of a cover letter is to impress the hiring manager, it’s important to stay true to who you are. Your cover letter should be professional, but it should also represent who you are – character, expertise, skills, and background. 

Remember that “professional” shouldn’t mean equate to stiff and rigid. Your cover letter should give hiring managers an essence of who you are and you can’t do that when you’re being too formal. Hiring managers read so many cover letters in a day so to catch their attention, don’t go with the crowd in using overused words such as you’re a team player or you’re a hard-worker. Use words and phrases that are unique to them to effectively catch their impression, but again, stay authentic.

5. Use cover letter templates

To look for sample cover letters for your application, there are various templates you can get inspiration from online. If you aren’t sure what to put on your cover letter, there are various examples and templates online. However, examples and templates only serve as a guide, but you still have to write your cover letter in a way you see fit. Be sure to proofread your cover letter and read it multiple times to ensure there are no errors and that it’s flawless. Your job application depends on your cover letter and resume as a whole so it needs to be on point, from formatting to grammar to something as simple as a template.

Last Thoughts

By having the perfect cover letter, you’ll open yourself to more job opportunities. While a resume is good enough, your cover letter gives you a better first impression as an applicant. You can’t know someone just by looking at an individual’s resume, which is precisely the significance behind a cover letter. It gives the hiring manager an essence if you can potentially fit perfectly in the role.