What’s The Point of a Cover Letter?
Some people approach cover letters as basically a reiteration of the resume with a lightly different emphasis on skills and experience. If that’s all your doing with your cover letters, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Strong cover letters are an opportunity to set yourself apart from all the other applicants by jumping to the front of the line of your prospective employers imagination and attention.
Instead of thinking of the cover letter and another avenue to list all your credentials and attributes, think of it as an introduction to the person behind the accomplishments. Give them a chance to get to know you and the great qualities that will walk into the office with your person.
Don’t just start the cover letter with your name and the fact that you’re applying for X position. Give them a little background about yourself. Where you went to school. What it is about this position that grabs your attention. Why you think you’d be outstanding. Why you are excited to work in the industry or at that company.
Not a mirror of your resume
Your resume is mostly a point form encapsulation of your experiences and accomplishments. Your cover letter is a chance for you to highlight what’s important about those things. Don’t list all of your experiences in the cover letter. Focus on the ones most relevant to the position and take the time to explain why they’re relevant.
Put your accomplishments into context
This is your opportunity to quantify your accomplishments. Your resume says you managed a team of 6. Here in the cover letter you can explain how you got to a management position in only three months and how under your guidance the team’s output increased by 200%. I did X and achieved Y.
Reiterate your interest
Finish off by expressing again how excited you are to have the opportunity to work in that field or with that company and what an amazing asset you will be. A great cover letter ignites a spark. You don’t just want it go get stacked in the “call for interview” pile. You want them to paste a red star and two exclamation points at the top of your application because they can’t wait to call you!