Friday, December 23, 2011

Cover Letters Act As Valuable Communication Tools

Job seekers might ask: Is it really necessary to submit a cover letter with a resume when applying for a job? The answer is yes. A cover letter serves as an introduction between the job seeker and the prospective employer. In it, you introduce yourself, identify the position of interest, and summarize the unique value and expertise you can bring to the organization. Cover letters may also help to explain a unique situation, like a gap in employment or why the job seeker is transitioning to a new industry. When written well, a cover letter should draw the reader into wanting to read the accompanying resume—with the ultimate goal of securing a job interview.


The key elements of a cover letter include a salutation; an introductory paragraph; two body paragraphs highlighting the applicant’s experience, skills, and accomplishments; and a closing paragraph requesting an interview or other follow-up steps. To be completely effective, customize the letter to address the position and company you are applying to.

Cover Letter Templates

The great news for job seekers is that numerous cover letter templates are available to help get you started in writing a targeted message intended to resonate with a particular audience or communicate unique experience. Many custom templates are designed for specific situations, like a first-time job seeker or someone wishing to highlight transferable skills in an attempt to transition occupations. Most templates are typically easy to use, and most are available for free online.

Much as you might be tempted to skip the cover letter, think twice. A cover letter is a great tool for capturing the interest of your audience and selling yourself, while allowing a little bit of your personality to shine through too.

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