Job seekers often underestimate the power of a cover letter. You may think that employers and hiring managers toss it to the side and concentrate primarily on the resume. Some may do just that, but those who find an introductory letter important base their hiring decisions heavily on the content within the letter. Focus on highlighting your unique skills with a letter that offers more than what the resume can provide.
A key part of your job preparation should focus on compiling a resume that outlines your experience and skills within the industry. Meanwhile, a cover letter helps you to match your skills, interests and accomplishments to what the company is seeking in a job candidate. Emphasize goals met within your career, accomplishments related to the position you are seeking and skills that may not fit or apply to your resume. Expand upon how you work well with teams, support co-workers and clients and pay close attention to detail. A resume is a grand overview of your career, yet a cover letter allows you to be selective and personable, explains Forbes.com contributor Caroline Ceniza-Levine.
A cover letter allows job candidates to provide examples that are not included on their resumes. For example, you can explain employment gaps, identify your objectives for career choices and provide examples of how you impacted the success of a project or company as a whole.
Personality traits often shine through within an introductory letter, too. Candidates can identify community activities and volunteer work that show involvement with their local area, while also showing a nurturing and caring nature. You can explore hobbies and interests related to the industry to show you are motivated and well-versed in the company's products and services. The key element of a strong letter is to hook the reader right away. Open with a statement that captures interest and makes you stand out from the rest of the candidates.
Job preparation should involve researching the company's goals, missions, products and services. A well-written cover letter helps job candidates to display and share this knowledge, which ultimately shows initiative and preparation. Compliment the employer on successes the business has achieved, identify how you would like to be a part of the company's goals and initiatives and explore how you fit within the company culture. An introductory letter is your chance to show that you are prepared, invested in the business and sufficiently skilled to impact the success of the company.
Resist the temptation to dismiss the importance of an introductory letter. Your resume may detail your experience and skills, but additional documents such as a cover letter provide you with an advantage over other candidates and an opportunity to impress potential employers with specific examples of your accomplishments and goals.
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