As job seekers, we tend to spend the majority of our time on the resume itself. Whether it’s crafting the perfect set of bullet points, choosing the right format or strategically placing keywords throughout, we tend to spend a great deal of time on the resume.
However, overlooked as it often is, the cover letter can actually carry a lot of weight in its own right. This is especially the case with administrative positions and those with a great deal of project management experience, as the cover letter gives you the opportunity to touch on some achievements and experience that, for whatever reason, you couldn’t include on the resume itself.
Make Your Cover Letter Brief but Informative
The primary purpose of the cover letter is to provide the reader with an overall summary of your background without going into too much detail. Ideally, you want to use the cover letter to draw their interest before leading them onto your resume. As such, it’s important that you get to the point as quickly as possible when crafting your cover letter.
Using sentences that are short and succinct lets you make your point without becoming overly wordy. While you may be tempted to fill the cover letter with all sorts of adjectives, qualifiers and descriptors, this really adds very little to the actual content of the document. Instead, focus on specific achievements and qualifications.
Show New Information
Some job seekers will repeat certain achievements between their cover letter and resume. While this sort of redundancy will certainly help get your point across, the cover letter is better utilized when serving as a complementary document to the resume. To that extent, try to use the cover letter to present a hiring manager or interviewer with skills, achievements or qualifications that weren’t stated on the resume.
In some cases, you might want to use your cover letter to state your proficiencies with computer software or information technology. While some of these skills should be listed on the resume, your cover letter can be used to identify specific programs, extracurricular training or even your general interest in technology.
Like your resume, the cover letter should ultimately provide some sort of value to the reader. Nobody wants to waste their time reading a cover letter that doesn’t add any value to a candidate’s profile, and proactive job seekers don’t waste their time writing letters that aren’t informative. As such, make sure to minimize redundancies, maintain brevity and, above all else, provide some sort of value for the reader.
Wrapping It Up
Finally, make sure to end your cover letter in a professional manner. Reiterating your interest in a specific position is a good idea, too, as it ensures you’re being considered for the right job, but you’ll want to do so with no more than one or two sentence. Simply follow that with a professional closing and sign the document to finalize it. Now it’s time to show off your new document and start submitting it, along with your resume, to potential employers!