When and When Not to Include a Cover Letter
Many employers have migrated their hiring process to online platforms. Some of these platforms are cookie-cutter and only want your job history and a few questions about your background. The data that goes into the systems are sorted and distributed based on the application data. These applications will normally not request one.
Consider the elevator pitch. What’s unique about the elevator pitch scenario is the one-on-one interaction that’s taking place. As you consider if you need to send a letter, determine if the application you are submitting is funneling through a traditional application medium like an email or a job board perhaps. Most times, these give an option to include one.
You should also consider adding a letter with your application under other scenarios such as:
• You have a relationship with the hiring manager
• You have been referred by an employee or manager
• You bring something unique to the role
• The application requires one
• Concerns about your work history
Do not include a letter if the application advises you not to. Also, if an application requests you to send your resume to them in an email, this is an opportunity to use it as the body of the email. This works with applying on LinkedIn if you know the recruiter or hiring manager recruiting for the job.
What Should a Cover Letter Say?
Your letter should be professionally written and formatted in a memo style or formal letter style. It should include your name and contact information from your resume. It should address the hiring manager or recruiter.
You should not submit one large paragraph. Instead, break it down into readable short paragraphs of 3-4 well-written sentences. Also, ensure to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Some employers use your letter to determine how well you execute written communication.
Your letter should introduce who you are, give a very brief synopsis of your background, and then it should demonstrate how you bring value to the company and the role they are seeking. It should address the role by name as you speak about how your skills are a fit. You can also use this to communicate any concerns that an employer may have about your work history such as gaps in employment. In addition, if the role you are seeking is considered a career change from the past jobs on your resume, use the cover letter as an opportunity to demonstrate how your past skills can be used in the new role.
Lastly, invoke the employer to reach out to you. Do this by first inviting them to take a deeper look into your experience on your resume and then invite them to reach out to you for an interview.
Get a Cover Letter Professionally Prepared
Even if you don’t have a way with words and marketing yourself to potential employers seems daunting. You can have your letter professionally prepared by us. We will review your resume with you and discuss your objectives with the type of role you are seeking. Then we will help you put together one that will capture the attention of hiring managers. Consult with us on your next cover letter.