OK, you've gone to the trouble of writing your resume, you've spent time working on it and now you're told to write a cover letter too. You might be wondering why you need a cover letter if everything is already written on your CV? You might even be wondering what a cover letter is?
The cover letter complements your résumé and completes your application. Because here you can provide arguments for your employment that go beyond the hard facts of the resume.
Just as you wouldn't show up to a potential employer's desk without warning them, your resume should never appear alone on a recruiter's desk. Your cover letter is your first shot to present yourself, express your capability, and show the search committee that you are a likely candidate for the posted position.
According to surveys, applicants sit and work on this page for an average of 74 minutes. Almost every second applicant (42 percent) is dreading the cover letter, and almost every fourth applicant has already turned down a job because it was too complicated to formulate the cover letter.
Let's get it straight: a cover letter is essential! By the way, anyone looking for a job needs a cover letter. Top executives write cover letters, great professionals write cover letters, and that's what every young school leaver, graduate, and people who already have work experience should do.
The cover letter brings a lot to the application
When a job posting is posted, the person who posted it receives tens or even thousands of resumes that pile up on their desk or invade their inbox. People reviewing all of these resumes probably have other things to do and would like to know ahead of time which ones are worth reading. Maybe, in theory, they should watch each of them and devote an equal share of their time to them, but that is not what they do in practice.
So how do they manage to cope with this pile of resumes? They are first interested in the cover letter. Regardless of what it says and how it's written, this letter lets them know if your resume is worth a closer look.
Your cover letter can, therefore, help you get your CV noticed. One may even have you walk past someone who has a better resume than you. If you don't have a cover letter, the person looking at that huge pile of resumes will have little reason to prioritize yours.
What is a good cover letter?
A cover letter is a short letter that explains why you are applying for a job. You should use it to indicate the elements of your CV that are consistent with the position you want to get. If you have a genuine interest in a company and its products or have qualifications that meet the requirements of this job, you should use the cover letter to express it. Your CV confirms your statements as to your qualifications and experience.
The point here is to create a connection between the applicant, the company, and the position. In the main part of the application letter, it is important to give specific examples and arguments and to respond as precisely as possible to the requirements of the company - empty statements and empty phrases are out of place. It is not about completeness, but rather skillful networking of one's professional highlights with the requirements of the company.
The best way to prove your suitability is with figures and examples. Anyone who, for example, managed a team in the last position, expanded a customer base, or achieved outstanding sales targets should show this with concrete figures. It is important at this point that the applicant focuses on a few outstanding highlights instead of retelling the content of the résumé.