We’re not ones to turn up our noses at the glorious bounty of the internet. We love cat videos as much as (full disclosure: way more than) the average person. And the internet has certainly made job-hunting a billion times easier than paging through want ads with a highlighter. But the convenience of online communication has muddied the waters a bit when it comes to what’s appropriate and necessary when sending out job applications. Now, there's a lot to say on that topic, but we'll stick to just one for now: what's the status of the cover letter?
In an age where you can just fire off an email and attached resume to a prospective employer, cover letters can seem a bit stiff. Stodgy. Ye olde fashioned. But like the hand-written thank-you note and French cuffs, some old-fashioned things still make an impression. So yes. You still need one. Here are a few reasons why:
Cover letters give your potential employer a sense of your personality.
No matter how fabulous your credentials or how beautiful your resume looks, it can only do so much. The cover letter lets you show a bit of your personality through writing as you explain how you can be an asset to the company. The cover letter is your opportunity to sell yourself.
Cover letters prove you can communicate in writing.
The ability to string together a cogent sentence is a valuable one in business. Who knew? Strange but true. A well-written cover letter shows your potential boss that you're able to express yourself using the written word. It's an alarmingly rare skill, and one that can bump you to the top of the to-interview list.
Cover letters help you connect the dots for your potential employer.
How can your gap year in the jungles of Peru or your minor in pottery make you the strongest candidate for this position? It may not be immediately obvious to your potential employer if they've just glanced at your resume. Your cover letter is your opportunity to make it crystal clear.
Cover letters help you stand out.
In a rare bit of anonymous online wisdom, a commentor on Reddit says, “For me, not all good cover letters get an interview, but (nearly) everyone that gets interviewed has a good cover letter.” Your cover letter can help give you a boost over similarly qualified candidates. Wouldn't you hate knowing you lost an opportunity because some other guy wrote a cover letter and you didn't? Better safe than sorry.
Yes, writing a cover letter takes a lot more time and reflection than dashing off an e-mail, but it could be the thing that makes the difference between landing an interview and not. A good cover letter helps you stand out, which is why Loft Resumes includes an editable cover letter design with every resume purchase. It’s our job to help you get noticed.
(Photo Credit: Linda Cronin)
- Category Career AdviceResume Advice