Resume Cover Letters – Who Needs Them?

Answer: Anyone who sends out resumes needs resume cover letters! Even though the issue of a covering letter was not mentioned in conversation, or it wasn’t specified in the ad.

It will be considered a sign of laziness or apathy, to send a resume letter that is not customized to the specific organization you are applying to.

But doesn’t it add more anxiety to the already stressful process of looking for a job? Of course it does! But the upside is, your personalized letters give you an opportunity to highlight the things you can contribute to the particular organization in a way your resume cannot. The cover letter is your ‘Sales Page,’ so to speak. YOU are the ‘product you’re selling.’

Many employers are reporting dozens, even hundreds of applicants for every single job opening. With current 10%+ unemployment rates, and relatively few available jobs, there is a tremendous amount of competition out there for every opening. And this just as true with a small, local 3 or 4 person office as it is with huge multi-national corporations.

When the hiring person is almost literally drowning in applications, they do not have time to read every word of every resume. This is where your resume letters come in. Oftentimes, the hiring person scans the cover letter first. If nothing in that letter catches their attention, chances are the actual resume will never get read. So your perfect, beautiful, well thought out and well-written resume ends up in the trash, having never even been looked at.

The main purpose of resume cover letters is to answer the employer’s question: “What can this applicant do for our business?” It is hard to directly answer this question in the resume, which is a formal listing of jobs, duties, experience, training and accomplishments. Your properly crafted cover letter can answer that question in a very straightforward manner.

You should create a new cover letter with every resume you send out, customized to the particular position and company you are applying to. A basic, generic letter will not get you interviews. At all costs, avoid the “blah, blah, blah…please find my resume attached,” format. Employers are looking for knowledge, excitement and focus. If you do not communicate those qualities in your letters, your odds of getting called for an interview fall somewhere between zilch and zero!

A few tips on other issues that can make or break your resume letters, include:

Misspellings or typos: Ask at least a couple of people to review your letter before you send it, watching carefully for mistakes and grammatical flow. (Does it sound right when read out loud?)

Improperly Addressed: Whenever possible the letter should be addressed to a specific individual. If no name is given in the ad, try networking or research to try to find out the name. If that is impossible, just start the letter without a “Dear so-and-so.”

Writing as though you don’t have a clue who they are or what they’re about: If you don’t already know these things, do some research before writing the letter. Visit their website, if they have one. If not, ask around. See if somebody knows somebody that works there, which can give you a heads up.

Well-written resume cover letters can give you a great edge over all those other applicants!

Now go to Winning Resume Coverletters for more great information about writing eye-catching, Interview Getting, cover letters! Give yourself the competitive edge in your job search!

Author: Kathi Harris


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Writing Attention Grabbing Cover Letters for Resumes That Get The Job Interview

If you have spent hours creating the perfect resume that you targeted to the company and job you were applying for only to receive a standard rejection letter, you may have neglected the importance of cover letters for resumes.

Cover letters for resumes provide the first impression of you to a prospective employer. If the employer doesnt like your cover letter, the resume may not even get a look.

So how do you write cover letters for resumes that grab the attention of readers and maintain their interest? First, your cover letter needs to be concise, short, have an easy to read layout and be error free.

The goal of cover letters for resumes is to create enough interest in the reader that your resume will be read and hopefully short-listed. A good cover letter addresses the job requirements outlined in both the advertisement and any selection criteria provided. This makes the job of the employer or human resource department a lot easier and makes it less likely that you will be culled.

Since the purpose of your cover letter is to support your application by providing evidence that you are qualified for the position and would fit in well with the organization, it is essential that you understand all the requirements of the position and learn as much as possible about the culture and circumstances of the company.

This needs to be broadly conveyed in the first paragraph of your covering letter. You also need to identify the position you are applying for in your opening paragraph as there may be a number of positions being simultaneously advertised.

You can be more specific in the following paragraph, outlining your qualifications for the position. In this paragraph, you need to explain how your work experiences, skills, education and training not only meet the requirements of the job, but make you the best person for the job.

Only include relevant details that will be of interest to the reader. If you have extensive experience and skills that meet the requirements of the company for the position, you may need another paragraph to detail them.

Once you have specifically addressed the requirements of the job, spend a paragraph discussing why you want to work for this particular organization. Show you have researched them and explain how you would fit well into their culture, contributing to the organization on a number of levels.

Finally, proofread and edit your cover letter a few times before sending it. If necessary, have someone else read it to make sure it is free of errors. Having grammatical or typographical errors in a cover letter is likely to totally ruin your chances of getting an interview.

Cover letters for resumes can make or break your job application, so it is essential to treat them seriously and make every effort to create an excellent first impression.

Author: Freddie Johnson