It can be easy to dismiss the importance of a cover letter, given all that technology has to offer when it comes to job searching. In this age of online job boards, web-based applications, applicant tracking systems (ATS), professional networking sites, and video interviews from your smartphone, it’s tempting to just toss the idea of including a cover letter with your resume. However, that’s a trap that a savvy job-seeker can’t afford to fall in to.
“Not sending a cover letter is a sign of laziness. It’s akin to making spelling and grammar mistakes in your resume. You just don’t do it,” says Jodi Glickman, a communications expert and author of Great on the Job.
Why is a Cover Letter Important?
A cover letter is an informal way of introducing yourself to the hiring manager before they read the details of your resume. While the cover letter should be written in a professional style, it does give you an opportunity to trumpet your accomplishments while also displaying some of your personality. Show some enthusiasm! Remember, no one wants to read a boring cover letter any more than they want to read a boring resume. Think of how many resumes recruiters, hiring managers, and other HR personnel read every single day. They grow tired of reading the same cookie-cutter cover letters written with a generic template that was downloaded off the internet. If you want to stand out in a sea of applicants, both your resume and cover letter need to create a positive – and lasting – impression. At RT&M Group, we help you do just that! With our customized career services, we take the information in your resume and use it to write an impressive cover letter that emphasizes your personal value.
What Should a Cover Letter Include?
When writing your cover letter, keep in mind that you are selling yourself to the company you want to work for, so it’s important to highlight your accomplishments and emphasize what problems you can solve for the company. That’s right – focus on solutions to their problems! Every hiring manager has problems to solve. From entry-level to senior management to the C-suite, when an organization is hiring, it’s doing so to address an issue or reduce a deficit. Even good problems, like growth or expansion, are still problems if there isn’t enough supply (employees) to meet the demand (customers). This is where your cover letter becomes as important as your resume. Most hiring managers will read the cover letter first and, if it captures their interest, then they read the resume. But if the cover letter fails to catch their attention, it’s a good bet that they will never even glance at your resume. What does this mean for you? It means you have just missed a golden opportunity to further sell yourself in an interview. Don’t let this happen to you! Instead, let RT&M Group write the kind of cover letter that will leave the hiring manager wanting more – so much more that you find yourself sitting in their office for a personal interview!
General Guidelines for Cover Letters
As a rule, your cover letter should be no more than one page, and sometimes less is more. It needs to convey important, eye-catching information, but it needs to do so in a succinct way. Hiring managers and recruiters are busy people and don’t have time to read lengthy cover letters. Make sure to lead off with a strong opening statement that makes it clear why you want the job – and why you’re the right person for the job. Be certain to highlight at least one relevant career achievement near the top of your letter. If you have done your research on the company (and you should), you could frame this accomplishment in such a way that it addresses a problem that the organization faces, while showcasing your value as someone who can provide a solution to that problem. And most importantly, remember that just like with your resume, a cover letter is not “one-size-fits-all.” You should not write a generic cover letter and fire it off to 50 different employers. Experienced recruiters can smell a canned cover letter a mile away and it’s a guaranteed way to get your resume tossed. At RT&M Group, we will teach you how to tailor your new cover letter and resume for each position that you apply for, increasing the chances that your application will find its way to the top of the stack!
Cover Letters for Career Success
RT&M Group works with professionals from all industries and at all professional levels from new grads to executives in the C-suite. We want all our clients to find their dream job and that is why we provide professionally-written cover letters along with high-quality, personally-branded resumes. We’re in our element when we’re imparting confidence and empowering professionals to take the next step to advance their career. Are you ready to get started or learn more? Ready to utilize our resume writing services? Contact us at (734) 485-3250 or schedule an appointment online.