Are cover letters still relevant?

A cover letter is a letter written by a job seeker to accompany his or her resume/CV giving a snippet into the kind of individual and employee he or she is. Sometimes, it is asked for by the potential employers while other times, it can be handed in without any promptings. Question is, if the employer doesn’t ask for it, should you attach it to your job application?

The only time you shouldn’t include a cover letter is when the employer specifically asks you not to include one. This means you should maximize on you resume or CV such that you are able to impress them from the get go.

In the event that the employer hasn’t really specified if you should or not hand in a cover letter, it might be wise for you to write one and hand it in, however daunting that turns out to be.

A cover letter lets you stand out, HR managers can use the cover letter as a preamble to the person applying for the job, basically they are hearing you speak before they read your CV and later on interview you. This means that it should be strong enough to impress the HR just enough to have them consider you. It should have a touch of your personality included, this means unlike the CV that seeks to look at the professional aspect of the individual, the cover letter helps to give a touch of the person behind the skills.

It gives you a chance to provide more details such as skills or fill in the blanks such as why you decided for a career change or why you have a gap in your work experience. Do this in a simple and mild manner, remember you shouldn’t go beyond a page, therefore being straight to the point and witty is important.

Write the letter if you have extra information but don’t have the space to do so in the resume. This therefore means that if you do not have anything new, you may not necessarily need to write one. If possible, try to keep some information away from the resume such that your cover letter may bring new information to the table and prevent repetition.

So how best can you write a cover letter to cover all the recommended areas? First and foremost, consider the job you are applying for; this means do not write an all-round cover letter. You will need to target the particular job, think about its requirements and what you have to offer, focus on that so that your letter stands out.

Consider focusing on your achievements, what are those job related achievements which you have up your sleeve. Talk about how you achieved them and how they affected your work ethic, remember, the letter is just a page, so fix all these in a sentence or two. Be picky, choose the most outstanding achievements that are job related or job relevant.

Lastly, show your enthusiasm of getting the job by showing that your passions, career goals and general life objectives align with the job you are being offered. This will scream passionate and enthusiastic to work with us.

Therefore, yes, a cover letter is still needed, unless the employer requests you do not include it in your job application package, consider tuning your mind to write a cover letter each time you go about applying for a job.

Good luck.

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