Many people view writing a cover letter as a chore. You draft your resume, translating your skills into marketable bullet points, and feel accomplished. Then, you realize the job opportunity you are scoping out requires a cover letter. What? More writing?
Yes. It’s worth it. There are several reasons why you should include a cover letter with your resume when you apply for any job. Below we’ve outlined five of them.
- It provides an opportunity to present your position-related skillsets. In your cover letter, you can highlight your previous accomplishments and how they align with aspects of the position you’re applying for. Make sure you reference the position description to show your unique qualifications and keep your cover letter from feeling generic.
- It includes information that might be out of place on a resume. Resumes usually follow a standard format and often there are points you may wish to make about yourself that won’t fit neatly into the template. As career expert Heather Huhman notes, “Cover letters allow you – in narrative form – to tell the employer exactly why hiring you, instead of the numerous other candidates, is a good decision.”
- Its demonstrates an additional level of effort that you didn’t necessarily have to make. Although it may seem insignificant, the fact that you took the time to write a unique cover letter shows you care about getting a job just a bit more than someone who doesn’t write one. It shows you’re willing to take that extra step to succeed.
- It adds a personal touch. Your cover letter helps set your resume apart from others by giving an employer a better sense of who you are and what your personality is. It can give some life to your resume.
- It demonstrates your writing ability. Almost all employers want employees to be able to write. A cover letter is written in a personal, narrative form instead of a series of short phrases and bullets like a resume, so it provides an added dimension to your writing ability.
Ultimately, a well-written cover letter will strengthen your resume and increase your chances of getting an interview and eventually a job. It’s worth the time and effort it takes.