iStock_000024086772LargeMany job seekers wonder whether they should send a cover letter with each resume if it’s not required. Are employers or recruiters taking the time to read them? While some may skim over the cover letter, others do take the time to read them. There is no harm in including one unless the employer specifically states not to. A cover letter is an ideal opportunity to further highlight your qualifications and fit for the position. There are many advantages to having one:

1. Create a stronger first impression

An employer may review hundreds of applications a day. A well-crafted cover letter not only highlights your capabilities but also conveys your interest. Resumes are very concise and to the point. A cover letter allows you to elaborate on key points and provide additional information that may not be as evident in your resume. It is a snapshot of who you are and what you can do to draw the employer in and make them want to find out more. Why would you waste an ideal opportunity to catch their attention in a good way?

2. Show your personality

Unlike a resume, cover letters use “I” statements. They are slightly more relaxed while still professional. You have the opportunity to focus on what you feel are your top strengths and qualifications and what makes you stand out. You can bring a more human touch to your application and let your personality come through in your writing style.

3. Align with the job opening

While your resume shows your career history as a whole, your cover letter is just key points. If there are specific capabilities or strengths the employer is looking for, you can outline these details in your cover letter. This draws more attention to them than your resume might and gives employers a clearer picture of who you are and what you can do. It shows exactly what position you are applying for and why you are qualified. Your resume then goes on to show the expanse of your abilities and what you have accomplished.

4. Make it personalized

Not only does your cover letter use “I” statements, it is also a chance for you to make a more personal connection. If you know someone who works at the company or have a mutual connection, you can note that in your cover letter. You can also address the fact that you are relocating or are willing to relocate. While you don’t want to get too personal with the details, there is more flexibility to share this type of information that does not fit with your resume.

As with any document you are sending out, you want to make sure that your cover letter is free from spelling and grammar mistakes as this can detract from the impact and impression that it makes. Rather than sending a message that you are highly qualified and interested in the job, it can show lack of attention to details and poor communication skills.

Create a more complete application package by including a polished, tailored cover letter with each resume. If you are unsure about what to include or how to make a more effective impression, the team at Chic Resumes is ready to help. In addition to crafting a professional resume for you, we can also construct a cover letter to further emphasize your abilities. Contact Chic Resumes at (803) 831-7444 or to get started and boost your job search efforts.

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