Because cover letter writing can be difficult, many people skip it and just send in their resume. Potential employers do not accept many resumes that do not contain cover letter. This looks lazy and the last type of employee that they want is one who is lazy or who takes shortcuts. If you are wondering if the cover letter is really that important in your job search, the answer is it is the most important aspect of your resume.
You would not go on a first date looking like you have not showered in a week. Why not? It does not make a good first impression on a future significant other and the second date may never happen. The same can be said about the cover letter. It is your first chance to make an impression on a future employer. The following are some basics to cover letter writing that can help you create a great first impression:
• Write to the company you are applying with –
Never write a generic cover letter that is meant to be sent to every job you apply for. Companies can spot this type of cover letter and it is almost as bad as not sending one in at all. Instead, do a bit of research and find out exactly what the company expects of their employees and tailor your cover letter to fit these expectations.
• Make it a full introduction about you –
Introduce yourself to the company in a flattering way. Make sure to include why you would be a great fit for the position and what attributes you bring to the company. Unless you are seeking a position that is the animal care field, you should not include your love of animals or any other personal information that does not matter to the company. Never list any personal relationship issues or anything that is not relevant to the job. Cite any awards from school or prior positions that show your ability to follow through on tasks and to win awards for doing so.
• Do not include anything that is covered by the resume –
The cover letter is not intended to be a rehashing or a summation of the resume. The resume and cover letter should each be a document that lists your abilities in different aspects. Simply running through your resume and highlighting it on the cover letter is not the best way to make a first impression. If your cover letter is written properly, the recruiters take the time to read through the resume.
Cover letter writing does not have to be a chore if you know the basics of cover letter writing. There are many ways to do this effectively. If you simply think of the cover letter as a letter of introduction, it may make it easier to write each one. Remember to tailor each cover letter to the company that you are applying to and to the position that is being offered.