Believe it or not, countless people send their resumes sans cover letter, though specifically instructed to send both. For some reason, applicants treat this requirement as an either/or optional request, and end up getting their resume skipped over. Don’t let this happen to you.
Your cover letter is an important component in the pursuit of an interview. It is a short, single-paged introduction to yourself – your propaganda piece if you will. Here is where you get to show off your personality and genuine interest in the position. Think of it as a cheat sheet for the interviewer to get to know you before actually meeting you. A chance to communicate everything that you can’t within the resume.
In the first half, introduce yourself. State your name, where you attended school, touch on how your past experiences have shaped you, and provide a more well-rounded back story for yourself. Toot your own horn a bit here, it’s expected. You can use your resume to help you outline what points and events to expand upon, but don’t repeat your resume. Instead focus on providing clarification around any lapses in your work history, your transition into a new field, or why all of your previous positions were in other states.
For the second half, research the company and position you’re applying for. You want to adequately convey your interest in their particular organization and the position you’re applying to. Don’t skip this portion, it could very well be what sets you apart from the crowd. Employers aren’t interested in seeing another generic cover letter. Use this space to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and that your skill set is a good fit for the company and the role. Sum things up by explaining how your world view will help in this position and how your previous experiences will help you succeed. If this can be done within a sentence or two, you’ve nailed it.
Now if you’re still feeling hesitant with writing your cover letter, there are a few sites that can lend a hand, such as https://www.livecareer.com/cover-letter-builder or https://www.myperfectcoverletter.com/. When working with Crescent, our recruiters will typically create an Executive Summary when presenting your resume to a client. This is our “cover letter” for you, and we use it to either highlight a couple of outstanding attributes or to address and overcome a known gap in experience.
Above all else, pay attention to what is required. Sometimes they’ll throw things in just to gauge how well you listen to instruction. Remember, when it comes to the job search, you never get a second chance to the make a first impression.