The Cover Letter is An Essential Tool

Nancy Anderson
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Job seekers often spend significant time and effort crafting and revising the perfect resume, but a cover letter that is just as impressive is essential. Your job preparation should consist of crafting an introductory letter that is personable, customized and professional to stand out from the competition and prompt potential employers to seek you out.

The need for a cover letter is often debated in the professional world. Some employers place emphasis on its importance whereas others admit to simply skimming this document. Job seekers cannot predict whether or not potential employers desire a letter, so it is worth the time to submit one. Take a careful approach to drafting, though, to make sure the information you provide is in line with the mission and goals of the company.

Use the cover letter as an opportunity to show your personality and professional skills. Your resume should be structured formally, but an introductory letter, although professional, allows you to discuss your strengths, interests and job-related goals in a personal manner. Begin writing by detailing why you want to work for the company. Prepare yourself by researching the company to discover accomplishments, rankings in the industry, a scope of products and services and details about the company culture. Highlight what you admire about the business when writing your letter and show how you fit within the company's professional culture and image.

Focus your job preparation and the content of your cover letter on highlighting how you stand out from other candidates. Brainstorm a list of skills you possess that are detailed in the job description. Use keywords from the job description and match your relevant skills and experience to those criteria and desired qualifications. When you can show the employer that you are familiar and proficient in the job duties, you make the decision to interview or potentially hire you much easier.

Including a cover letter with your application materials shows that you have initiative. Job candidates who are willing to put in the time to customize a letter for each position are sought after by hiring managers. Present yourself professionally by formatting the letter in a formal manner, including links to your professional work, proofreading the content to avoid damaging your credibility and ensuring the letter doesn't repeat information on your resume. Instead, expand upon your skills and accomplishments that are not listed on the resume. Detail personality traits that have aided you when meeting deadlines, completing projects, serving customers and working with teams.

You have one chance to impress potential employers, so presenting yourself professionally in a cover letter is essential when selling your skills and experience. This valuable tool for job seekers, when well-written and creative, can make or break their opportunities in the job market.

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