Is a Cover Letter Still Important?


A cover letter is often times considered the gate keeper to securing an interview with a potential employer. It is typically the first communication that potential employers receive from a candidate and can directly impact whether or not they choose to read your resume and ultimately call you for an interview.

An effective cover letter should engage the reader to want to know more about you and should showcase your personality and passion for your career. It should also focus on the attributes that make you uniquely qualified for the job and describe your skills and how they would be applied to add value in the position.

Here are a a few simple tips that you should use to create an effective cover letter:

1. Avoid the “standard” cover letter. You only get one chance to make a first impression, which is why it is crucial to tailor your cover letter to each and every employer and position. Whenever possible, try to address the letter to a specific person rather than using a generic salutation.

2. Get creative. If you have a difficult time crafting a cover letter, consider creating a video cover letter, which can be very effective in showcasing your personality to potential employers. Consider enhancing your online career portfolio by including your video resume or cover letter.

3. Demonstrate credibility, but don’t go overboard. The last thing you want to do in your cover letter is to give a synopsis of your resume. Keep your letter concise, focusing only on the skills that are relevant to the open position and specifically address the needs of the employer. Use your cover letter to provide detailed examples on how you would bring value to the organization and leave them wanting more.

4. Pay attention to detail. Always remember to proof-read your cover letter and be sure to include the correct date, position title and contact information. This may seem obvious, but even one mistake in your cover letter could cost you the interview, so it is important to not overlook the details.

5. End with a call to action. Conclude your cover letter by requesting an appointment to discuss your qualifications in further detail. Give a specific date and time that you plan to follow-up with the employer and demonstrate your ambition by following through on your promise. Make sure to give the employer at least a few days before following up as to not sound too anxious or desperate.

By following these simple tips, you will be on your way to creating an effective cover letter that will increase the chance that your resume will be read by potential employers.

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