What Is a Cover Letter?

What Is a Cover Letter?

When you send off your resume to a potential employer, you shouldn’t just send it on its own. A cover letter will be required along with it, to pave the way, so to speak, for the resume that is included within.

But this doesn’t tell us what a cover letter is, or how you should construct one. The mistake many people make is to use their cover letter as a method for saying ‘please find attached my resume’. Not only is it boring, it doesn’t tell the employer anything about the applicant. It might be better to think of a cover letter as the drum roll before the grand event! You need to use it to pique the interest of the employer and to let them know you have the skills they are looking for.

Firstly you must remember to make it personal. This not only means addressing it to the right person, it also means you need to state the position you are applying for. This will help your resume to reach the right person and the right place.

Next up you need to remember that a cover letter should tell the potential employer that you are qualified for the job and have experience and skills in that area. Even if you are changing career you should try and find skills you possess that can be easily transferred to this new area.

You can probably see that a cover letter is really the introduction to your resume. It is a huge waste to use it simply to say you have sent a resume. That much will be obvious to the employer anyway. By using it as a way of introducing you as a good potential employee you will vastly increase the chances of your resume receiving serious attention.

Similarly the cover letter could ruin your chances completely if you aren’t careful. Some people tackle the cover letter as an afterthought. Don’t make this mistake! Think of it like this – if the resume is the main course, the cover letter is the entree that will lead the reader to it. Now doesn’t that sound like the best combination?

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