Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.
Managing your Job Search: The Importance of Your Cover Letter
August 1st, 2011
While most people spend many hours of their lives working hard on creating the perfect resume and becoming the most marketable for their job search, there is another document that is just as, if not more, important for professionals to focus on. This important document is the cover letter. A cover letter serves as the first impression of you to a potential employer. It sells your resume, which therefore sells you as both a person and a professional. A common mistake made by those searching for a job is either forgetting to submit a cover letter with their resume or writing a poor cover letter that reflects negatively on your aptitudes.
If you are asked to submit a cover letter with your resume, which most employers do ask for, then you can expect that your resume will only be read if your cover letter impresses the reader and draws them in. Imagine potential employers as someone who is in the real estate market looking for a new house or condominium. Your cover letter represents the entire front yard of the house or the first impression the buyer will get. If the landscaping is in shambles or the roof is a mess, then there is little chance that the buyer will desire to take a further look inside the house and give it a chance. The same goes for a person’s cover letter. If there are spelling and grammatical mistakes or if your letter does not strike the reader’s interest, it is unlikely that any prospective employer or hiring manager will care to take a deeper look.
Steps to Success
In order to achieve the first impression you are looking for, be certain that you are putting the time and effort into writing a cover letter that not only draws the reader’s attention to your resume, but that also accurately portrays who you are as a person. The objective of your cover letter is not only to provide an introduction of yourself, but also to provide reason for the reader to continue learning more about you. Some of the most important tips to improving your job searching success (and cover letter in general) is to start with stating the specific position for which you are applying and why you would like to pursue this job. Just like in an interview, it is important to do your homework beforehand and research the company. This will make you look much more knowledgeable and it shows that you are putting extra work into getting to know the company and how the business works.
It is also just as important to explain in your letter why your skills, education, and experiences make you the best candidate for the position. The best way to express your interest in the position is to emphasize and point out specific points in your resume that draws the employer’s attention to you. By easily searching online, people can find basic guidelines to follow to improve their cover letter. This can help you create a letter that will stand out from all the others. Overall, you want to include as much as you can in a clear and concise manner and express your interest in setting up an interview with the company and/or hiring manager.