Why a Cover Letter is Important

writing a cover letter

When applying for your dream role, your cover letter is the first thing a prospective employer sees in your job application, making it the most critical components for getting noticed.

Recruiters and hiring decision makers will spend less than ten seconds on each job application, so you have an extremely limited amount of time within which to make the right impression on the reader. For any given role, you’re going up against possibly hundreds of similarly qualified candidates. If you don’t stand out, your application is doomed!

Importance of a Well-Written Cover Letter

A well-crafted cover letter that is engaging and specifically tailored to the job you’re applying for is absolutely crucial to your chances of getting invited for an interview. One huge mistake that most job seekers make is in assuming that employers do not really read cover letters, so they don’t put t much effort into them, spending all of their energy perfecting their resume.

However, the truth is, a strong and compelling cover letter is equally as important as an impressive résumé. Yes, not every recruiter will read the letter at the initial stage, but it will be part of your application file, and will play a key role when you are being considered for the position.

Your cover letter should tell the reviewer right away what you bring to the table, and what problems you can solve for them. A cover letter is also much more personal than a resume and provides significant glimpses into your individual personality that your resume simply cannot bring across.

Essentially, a well-written cover letter that identifies the specific ways your expertise can benefit the company needs to be a fundamental part of your overall job-search strategy.

No one enjoys writing cover letters, but few employers would seriously consider a resume that is not accompanied by a cover letter. This is why it is vitally important that you get the habit of:

  1. Including a cover letter with each application, and
  2. Tailoring your cover letter for each job.

Advantages of a Well-Written Cover Letter

A cover letter is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your desire, showcase your communication skills and emphasize why you’re a perfect fit for the job. It must be unique and specifically tailored to the role you are applying for. Your aim is to generate excitement by giving the employer a clear sense of the results you have achieved for previous employers and what you can achieve for them.

The cover letter enables you to target the job and the employer in a very personal and specific fashion, leaving the resume to highlight your skills, background and experience as a part of the overall picture. Take this opportunity to show why you are more qualified to deliver excellent results better than anybody else out there. Show what problems you are capable of solving and how you can apply this knowledge and expertise to your new job.

Furthermore, you can use your cover letter to address any discrepancies on your resume. For example, if you are re-entering the job market, have gaps on your resume or are changing the focus of your career, a cover letter can help shed some light on these circumstances in a way that could even help you stand out from your competitors.

In essence, your cover letter is your first chance to make a strong impression. It will not get you the job, but crucially, it opens the door and keeps you in the game. In order to be effective, you need to write a new cover letter for each job (unless the job requirements are identical, in which case you can sell yourself the same way.

Note that if your cover letter is boring or does nothing to help you stand out from the hundreds of other job applicantions, your résumé may not even be considered. It is therefore critically important to take the time to carefully craft a tailored and compelling cover letter that clearly highlights the value that you bring to the table.