What’s a Cover Letter and How Is It Different from a Resume?
There is a lot of confusion about the difference between a cover letter and a resume, which we hope to clear up here – A resume is a document that provides a prospective employer a better understanding of who you are and your qualifications for the job. A cover letter is a more detailed document which allows the prospective employer to connect the dots and see how your previous work experiences are relevant to the position that you are applying for. It is a more personal document than a resume. You should send both your resume and cover letter together when applying for a job.
Why do you need a Cover Letter?
A cover letter allows you to introduce yourself to an employer, present your qualifications and explain why you should be hired for the job. When written well, it helps you stand out from the rest of the candidates and ensures that you get shortlisted for the interview.
How to Write an Impressive Cover Letter?
Writing an effective cover letter that gets shortlisted for a job opportunity takes time, but it is something that simply has to be done. You must make it a point to personalize your cover letter depending on the position that you are applying for. Doing so would indicate your seriousness and level of interest. We discuss this and more tips on how to write an impressive cover letter below.
#1: Don’t bore the reader with too many details. The HR staff in charge of the hiring typically read dozens of resumes and cover letters in just a few minutes. So they can only spend a few seconds on your cover letter. Don’t make the mistake of boring them with too many details. Keep the cover letter brief and to the point, never longer than a full page.
#2: Be precise with the opening lines. Don’t use clichés or lengthy opening statements. Get to the point very quickly. Don’t waste the reader’s time. Don’t be verbose or wordy. Avoid flowery language and stick to the point.
#3: Give them a good reason to shortlist you for the interview. Mention your educational and professional background and connect them to the job position that you are applying for, so that there’s no confusion as to why you are suitable for the job. Just pick out a few points from your resume that are relevant to the job description and show how they can help you fulfill the responsibilities or perform the tasks that are expected from you.
#4: Don’t just repeat or paraphrase what’s on the resume. The cover letter is a distinct document and should contain information about yourself which is not present in the resume. If there are things that are relevant to the job description, but which you cannot write in the resume, include them in the cover letter. The cover letter adds to the resume, it should not simply repeat what’s already there in the resume.
#5: Read the company’s mission statement, values and objectives. Understand what the company stands for. Mention your skills and why they are relevant to the position you are applying for. Explain why the job is important to you and why you would be a good fit for the company.
#6: Use numbers and facts to good effect. Quote numbers and facts about your past achievement that show why you are such a good fit for the organization. Using numbers shows that you are result-oriented and have a good idea of what the employer is looking for.
#7: Proofread and edit the cover letter as much as possible before sending it to the employer. Hire a professional proofreader on a freelancing website such as Elance.com or Upwork.com to check the document for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. The cover letter must be 100% error free.
Use the tips given here to write an impressive cover letter. Just remember to be honest in the cover letter. Recruiting managers are very experienced at separating truth from fiction. Just be yourself and put your best foot forward. You will surely get the interview call that you are waiting for.