Should You Send A Cover Letter Even When Not Asked for One?

John Krautzel
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Candidates seeking a position with a desirable company are often required to complete a job application or submit a resume. A cover letter is not always requested in a job advertisement, which leads applicants to question whether an introductory letter is necessary. Candidates who write a thorough and engaging letter may have an advantage over other candidates when they go above and beyond submitting application materials.

A cover letter allows candidates to highlight important skills, accomplishments and experience that may not fit on a resume. Candidates can be highly selective when choosing what information to include in the letter and can compare their skills and abilities to the job description to show that they are the ideal fit for the position.

A cover letter details what your resume cannot. Explain how you work well with teams, impact productivity and enhance profitability. Detail accomplishments, goals and deadlines you have met that are related to the company's operations to outline your expertise.

A well-written cover letter is also tailored to the position you are seeking and the potential employer. Demonstrate what you know about the business, including operations, accomplishments and products and services. Itemize how you can contribute to the success of the company as part of the team.

Compel the hiring manager to read your cover letter right away with an engaging opening statement that captures interest. Avoid a form letter or template that is not customized to the company or position. Instead, speak directly to the employer or hiring manager and show that you can be personable and professional. Go beyond including information that can be found on a job application or resume and highlight interests, hobbies and volunteer work that is in line with the company's culture and mission. Show that your efforts in the community and your professional network can benefit the company as a whole.

Candidates can also detail why they want to work for the company in a cover letter, which is something the structure of a resume does not afford. Detail what you know about the company's products and services, highlight what initially attracted you to the position and describe how you can impact the employee base and the productivity and profit of the business. Applicants who can professionally and articulately detail their experience and skills in a manner that is tailored to the employer often have an edge over other candidates seeking an interview.

Employers may not always request a cover letter, but applicants who include one with application materials have more of an opportunity to sell and market themselves for the position. Proofread every sentence to ensure that careless errors do not damage your credibility and land your letter and resume in the trash.

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