Too often my clients tell me they do not need a cover letter. Professionals, HR professionals especially, share their hiring experience in which they never read an applicant's corresponding cover letter. Then I ask, "What about the applicant without a cover letter." The quick response is always the same, the HR or hiring manager will say, "Oh, well since the applicant cannot be bothered to send a cover letter, I cannot be bothered to screen his/her resume.”
And there is your answer! Yes, your cover letter might not get read, but don't eliminate yourself from the process by not providing a cover letter.
The cover letter is a letter of intent. In the cover letter, you explain why you are applying for the position and what motivated you to apply.
Here is another chance to answer specific qualifications or preferred qualifications you possess that the employer is looking for in a candidate (read the job description). You also can speak in the first person (the resume is written in third person) and showcase your unique voice. Why would you deny yourself an opportunity to stand out from the crowd?
Finally, if your resume aligns your skill set with the multiple candidates, your cover letter is the next tool used to sift through possible interview candidates. Bottom line, take the time to write and submit the cover letter. You never know what stage of the application process that one page will make a difference.
Until Next Tuesday…
Comment below: What are some of the common struggles you face when writing a cover letter?