Why You Should Submit a Cover Letter in Every Job Application

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Holly-Noelle Haworth

You might think that you’ll be able to land your dream job or internship with your impressive résumé, but unfortunately that’s not the case. To truly highlight your skills and worth as a potential future employee, you need to submit a cover letter with your resume in each job application. A résumé highlights your direct work experience and concrete skills, but your résumé is (almost) useless without a cover letter because it does not give any context or clues to you as a person. In other words, your cover letter is an introduction to you, as an individual, and allows you the opportunity to highlight your personality. After all, your future employers ideally want to get along with you both as a person and a professional.

As mentioned before, cover letters give you the opportunity to do a few things. First, they allow you the opportunity to showcase your strengths and weaknesses in a unique way. Maybe you majored in Anthropology in college but are applying for a job in the marketing field. If that were the case, a cover letter would provide you the opportunity of explaining how and why you are qualified for a job that is in a field you have no formal training in.

Second, you get to add details about yourself and your experiences that are tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Always be sure to print out the job description and to customize each résumé and cover letter to each job. If it is a job in the engineering field, include relevant work experience and personal qualities in both your resume and cover letter. If you’re a good writer, a cover letter can also be a good opportunity to demonstrate your writing competence and style.

Lastly, recruiters look through hundreds of applications each day. To make the process easier, cover letters (or lack thereof) are an efficient way for recruiters to sift away unqualified candidates. When faced with two equally qualified candidates, recruiters often compare each candidate’s cover letter to help pick between the two. Having a cover letter that shows you and all of your qualifications off will help set you apart from other well-qualified applicants.

All in all, a well-written, thoughtful cover letter can be what sets you apart from hundreds of other candidates, so don’t skimp on this often optional piece of a job application. Consider asking other professionals for help on your cover letter to ensure that your cover letter narrows in on what it most important about you and your qualifications and that it highlights what is special about you as an applicant.

Do you submit a cover letter in your job applications? Be honest.


Holly-Noelle HaworthComment