You’re applying for a job and the automated application system prompts you to attach a cover letter. Do you?
While there are signs that including a cover letter with your resume may someday be a thing of the past, cover letters are still very relevant to the job search in 2022. Up to 56% of employers expect a cover letter; 90% of employers find them valuable in assessing candidates. Yet only 47% of job seekers write cover letters.
Are Cover Letters Still Necessary?
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter, sometimes called a letter of application, supports your resume and advances your candidacy by elaborating on your background. It contains important contact information while stating your desire to be considered for candidacy and your motivation for applying for a position. Like any business letter, it follows a specific format.
Why is a Cover Letter Important?
Including a cover letter with your resume and job application is still the best approach in today’s job market for several reasons. A cover letter enables you to expand on your accomplishments, demonstrate your communication skills and explain employment gaps.
“A cover letter gives you the chance to highlight anything on your resume in more detail to point out your special qualifications,” notes Indeed. “With a cover letter, you can make the connection between the resume and the job…. you can use your cover letter to show how your skills and experience are relevant.”
Just starting your career? “Your cover letter is an opportunity to highlight your passion for a particular career or industry, and show how even without experience, you’re ready to learn and grow quickly in the role,” says Resume Genius.
When Should You Include a Cover Letter?
When a job application specifically requests a cover letter, including one that shows you are serious about the job and can follow instructions. Your cover letter provides the opportunity to explain why you’re the perfect person for the position.
A cover letter also is essential if someone who works in the company referred you for the job or knows your contact well. In your letter, you can explain your connection to this person, adding details the recipient would not know any other way. Perhaps you are contacting someone within your professional network. In your cover letter, you can remind that person where and when you met and re-establish your connection.
Even when a cover letter is an optional part of the job application, it’s still a good idea to write one. Why? Simply because most candidates don’t. According to a survey by Resume Lab, 83% of HR professionals “claimed that a great cover letter can secure you an interview even if your resume isn’t good enough.”
A Good Cover Letter is Worth the Effort
Writing a cover letter takes extra effort. However, it serves as your personal “sell sheet,” enabling you to speak directly to the recruiter, establish a rapport and elaborate on what makes you a unique candidate.
Make sure your cover letter is neatly formatted and thoroughly spell-checked. Rather than simply restate your resume, use it to add an extra layer of information that will compel potential employers to find out more about you.
Write a good cover letter, and you’re bound to stand out!
Do You Think Cover Letters Matter in 2022?
Does your job search need a nudge? Let the experts at Pro Resources Staffing Services help connect with employers in your area.