What is a cover letter, and why are they important?
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Cover letters are very important. The goal of the CL is to let the employer know who you are and why you would be a good fit for their job. The CL letter gets a recruiter to read your resume and the resume will get you the interview for a job or internship. It must be tailored to the job at hand, written with sincerity and be engaging. It is NOT a summary of your resume. I coach adults and young people how to write CL and resumes that work. Here is a template:
Paragraph #1 in 2 sentences state who you are (student at ... majoring in ..... Mention the name of the Job Title and how you know about the job (Website, referral, etc.)
Par #2 3-5 sentences only - Inform the reader of your experience and interests and connect the dots for the reader to the skills they need for their job. (I enjoy relating to the public, I am good with numbers, etc,. Explain why this particular company interests you. In other words, what you can do for the Co. Not what they can do for you.
Par #3 - 2 sentences - Last chance to sell /promote something about yourself, thank them for their time and consideration of your resume, look forward to hearing from you. Sign with name and phone number.
I consider a Cover letter to have 2 important aspects. The first is to build a business case for why they company should hire you. You want to address what is unique about you that other candidates don't have. Maybe it is your experience, your skills, your drive or something along these lines. You want to relate your background to their job description to show that you will immediately be able to make an impact, if hired. Most importantly, you should demonstrate what you would gain from working at their company. Make your candidacy feel very mutual. "I want to work for you because...". Or "In this role I believe I will gain....". This will help them see that you will be engaged in their company and excited about your work.
The second important piece of a cover letter is to start building your personal brand. What kind of employee are you? What type of personality do you have? What are your values? You want to be professional in this cover letter, but also try to display some of your personality or values. You can really set yourself apart if you talk about your personal passions or values, especially if those are in line with the companies, mission or values.
A cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience.
The letter typically provides detailed information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying for. A cover letter typically accompanies each resume you send out.
The first thing a potential employer sees in your job application is the cover letter. This doesn't just support your CV – it's an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and persuade the recruiter to put you through to the next round.