The cover letter is often the underappreciated sibling of the resume. It’s a little left-behind these days, as more companies turn to engines that churn resumes through algorithms, searching for keywords. But don’t count out the cover letter yet—it’s still a mandatory part of the job application package for many companies, and even when it’s not, you can still use it as a tool to get your resume noticed. So as you think about revamping (or writing one for the first time), let’s look at some of the most important info you can have at your disposal.
Why Do You Need a Cover Letter?
Again, many job openings now only call for a resume, especially when the posting is online, or you’re using a job search engine. And at any rate, we’ve certainly moved past the days where you’d type and print a full-on cover letter on fancy paper and paperclip it to your resume with care. Yet many jobs still ask you for a cover letter—why? Because even when your package is seen first by robot eyes, eventually it will make it to a human reader. And the cover letter is as valuable as ever at providing narrative and context for the resume itself. So while you should have one ready to go for any opportunities that may come up, it’s important to know what’s trending in the cover letter world:
And before you get started, it’s also important to know what not to do, so you don’t make mistakes the hard way:
What Goes Into My Cover Letter?
Once you’ve decided to move ahead with your cover letter, and you have a good sense of what you shouldn’t be doing in said cover letter, it’s time to write the sucker. What should be included?
When you’re writing, it’s key to use strong, active words that show how dynamic and productive you are, professionally.
What If I Need a Cover Letter That’s Not Really a Cover Letter?
If you’re cold-calling jobs or sending your resume somewhere it hasn’t been solicited, you should write a “letter of intent.” It’s similar to a cover letter, but isn’t quite the same. (Think Pepsi vs. Coke.) We’ve got you covered on letters of intent too, don’t worry:
Do You Have Tips for My Particular Field?
Here at TheJobNetwork, we’re constantly working on spotlighting different fields, but if you’re in one of these fields and writing a cover letter, then you are already in luck:
Even if you’re not in one of these specific fields, you’ll find helpful tips and tricks that you can apply to your own letter as well.
And there you have it…you should be good to start your own cover letter! Congrats on not neglecting this oft-overshadowed piece of your applicant package, and boosting your chances of getting to the next steps.
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