Since most hiring managers view cover letters as an essential part of the hiring process, you should submit a cover letter with every resume. Through a cover letter, you can show why you are the best candidate for the role and confirm whether an employee referred you. If your resume shows employment gaps, you can explain what happened and potentially still be contacted for an interview.
Discover five reasons to include a cover letter with your resume.
1. Demonstrate Why You Are a Top Candidate
Your cover letter clarifies how your skills, experience, and personality qualify you for a position. You can share specific stories about how you fulfilled responsibilities, solved problems, and overcame challenges similar to those in the job posting. If you are changing careers, you can explain how your transferrable skills and ability to learn equip you to fill the job requirements. The hiring manager can see at a glance that they should review your resume and consider contacting you for an interview.
2. Show You Follow Directions
Including a cover letter when requested demonstrates that you do as you are asked. Since you will be expected to follow directions on the job, hiring managers want to see this from the start.
3. Mention You Are an Employee Referral
If an employee referred you, state this in your cover letter. A referral increases your chances of being contacted for an interview. The hiring manager knows your personality, values, beliefs, and work ethic will be similar to the referring employee’s. You are more likely to understand the organization, fit with the company culture, and remain long-term.
4. Explain Employment Gaps
If you were out of the workforce for an extended time, use your cover letter to explain the circumstances. Perhaps you took time off to raise a family or care for an aging parent. You may have been downsized due to reorganization. Mention any skills you built on or picked up through webinars, online classes, or other opportunities. A hiring manager may be more inclined to set up an interview when they understand your time away was well-spent.
5. Increase Your Potential For an Interview
You are more likely to be contacted for an interview if you submit a well-written cover letter. Ensure it is clear, concise, and professional. Emphasize your accomplishments and awards that relate to the job description. Include specific ways you can add value to the organization. Proofread your cover letter to show your written communication skills and attention to detail.
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