Cover Letters: Love Them or Leave Them
This seems to be the question of the ages. Since I started writing resumes I have heard the pros and cons of having cover letters. Usually I hear from recruiters that say they never read them, but there have been a few that say they always read them after the resume…to get the facts and the flavor. I have talked with many hiring managers and employers that do rely on cover letters, so they are being read.
Your cover letter is the perfect place to really showcase the unique and extraordinary value you can provide a potential company. If there are bits of you that don’t fit on the resume, a cover letter is the perfect place to unveil them. Remember though, the cover letter works best if it is specifically targeted to the company you are sending the resume to.
According to the Cover Letter Magic by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark, the Objective of a cover letter is to inform the reader of who you are, highlight your skills and achievements, Identify the value you will bring to the organization and capture the reader’s attention. So, you have to market yourself in the cover letter to really set you apart from the other job seekers. In this very competitive market a cover letter could easily be the deciding factor.
I usually tell my clients that whether it is read or not, it is expected and you want to have a cover letter for the 40% that do read. In my opinion, the cover letter has considerable value and should be a part of every job seekers portfolio.
Shine on job seekers!