The cover letter. The working world’s equivalent to that college essay you’d rather do anything than write. A simple one-page statement to prospective employers, the cover letter can single-handedly inspire dread in even the most qualified job applicants. Although it may save time to submit a generic, or form, letter, a strong, tailored cover letter could be the difference between you getting and getting passed up for the job of your dreams.
Here’s why you should submit a personalized cover letter for each job you apply for — even if the employer doesn’t require one.
1. A cover letter can address (and explain away) your perceived shortcomings.
Did you go a few years without a job? Are you missing one of the certifications the prospective employer is requiring? The cover letter lets you tackle these issues head-on. With the ball in your court, you can tell your prospective employer exactly why you’re still qualified for your dream job.
2. A cover letter shows an employer your personality.
A good resume should provide a reader with subtle clues into your personality. However, a cover letter is the perfect opportunity to expand upon how your traits will help you excel at the position you’re pining for. Are you a creative problem-solver who always comes up with ingenious ways to put out fires at your workplace? Is there a specific instance in which you really demonstrated your ability to motivate your coworkers? The cover letter is the only place where you can expand upon who you are and what you do best. It’s also a great way to tie in outside interests or hobbies that may increase your knowledge of the prospective job’s field or industry.
3. A cover letter lets the employer feel special.
It takes time to craft a personalized cover letter, and the employer knows that. Submitting a cover letter that’s clearly written for the job you’re applying for shows the employer that you care about the position enough to put in that extra effort. And think of it this way: if you were deciding between two equally qualified candidates, one who provided a cover letter and one who did not, which would you choose?
Still not motivated to craft that stellar cover letter? Let Write In Color help. We’ve written strong cover letters for job-seekers in all industries and at all steps in the career ladder. After talking with you about your career goals and prospective jobs, we can either write a cover letter for one specific position you’re applying for, or create a cover letter template and show you exactly how to personalize it for each job you submit your resume to. Whether you’re in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Southern California or in another time zone, our career consultants can help you craft a cover letter and resume that embody your qualifications and personality.