The modern labor market offers plenty of employment opportunities for any work experience and qualifications. But it does not mean that the candidate will not have to compete for a prestigious position and prove his or her professional aptitude. And a single resume as a generally accepted attribute of a job applicant becomes insufficient against a background of a highly competitive environment. It was these prerequisites that set the trend for writing a cover letter as an additional way to show interest in the company and an auxiliary chance for the applicant to catch the employer’s fancy.
What Is Actually A Cover Letter?
If the resume mainly answers the question “Who?”, revealing your past performance, education, and achievements, then the cover letter should answer the question “Why?”, or rather, “Why exactly you?” demonstrating skills and characteristics that making you a suitable candidate for a particular position. And from this, we can conclude that these two documents are not interchangeable but complementary and together create a great foundation for employment. Accordingly, if a cover letter, as a critical component of this duet, is no longer up to the task, then the probability of the employment is reduced significantly. It explains the importance of making your copy perfect.
What Should Each Candidate Keep In Mind?
It is well to remember that a cover letter precedes a resume. It means that its main task is to create a first impression and push the recruiter or employer to a detailed review of the resume. Regardless of the profession and position, this document is equivalent to self-presentation. It can either “sell” your qualifications to the employer or put your application on the back burner due to inappropriate content.
Why Is It Challenging To Create A Successful Cover Letter?
Despite the many examples and templates of this document in the public domain, you can still be confused when starting to work on your copy for several reasons. Similar to the many resume writing mistakes, you face many challenges.
- There is no single formula for compelling content, that is why all the samples differ from each other and thereby mislead the applicant.
- Strong points and attention-grabbing pieces vary by industry, just as the portrait of the perfect candidate varies by profession.
- The desired company may advance specific requests for the format and content of the document, because of which publicly available templates may not work.
Although the above factors may seem to be significant barriers to a successful document, a universal and straightforward guide for writing a winning cover letter can still be created. So what does a job-winning cover letter look like? Several common signs of a successful paper are applicable and workable in any sector of the labor market.
A Competent Cover Letter Does Not Repeat The Resume
As mentioned earlier, the cover letter and resume are mutually reinforcing, where each document has its unique content and function, respectively. Accordingly, the cover letter does not contain data on previous employers and does not focus on the experience. Instead, it is better to indicate what skills and characteristics previous positions have formed in the candidate and what benefits the potential employer will receive from working with him or her. Besides, there is no room for lists in the cover letter that are so familiar to resumes. All the described skills and qualifications that make a candidate an expert should clarify why it is essential for this position or how it can be useful in the work process. These features contribute to “selling” self-presentation and form a specific offer to the employer.
The Cover Letter Is Always Addressed To A Particular Company
The time has come to say that the cover letter cannot be successful by default if it is universal for the candidate throughout the entire period of job search. First, even seemingly similar positions imply different strong characteristics of a potential employee, and second, the absence of any personification shows neglect and superficial interest in the company.
The winning option, in turn, explains the reasons for choosing a company, demonstrates an understanding of its sector, and advertises what the candidate is ready to bring to the team or to the corporation as a whole. To cope with the above points, the job seeker should devote more time to finding information about the desired company and carefully study the vacancy directly. It will help to adapt the competitive advantages to the requirements of the company and prove that this choice is conscious.
A Successful Cover Letter Consists Of Carefully Selected Components
Suppose that the candidate has decided on the desired position and has an idea of what the company can expect. Nevertheless, the question of how to choose the most suitable strengths from all the winning ones and fit them on one page remains open. To answer it, you should remember that an effective cover letter is always real and provides the employer with the most accurate information about the candidate. Therefore, no matter how many strengths you would like to ascribe to yourself, the main thing is to choose the characteristics that had practical application in your activity and led to a positive result.
For example, a company is looking for an employee with leadership skills. In this case, it’s rashly just to write that you have these skills. Instead, it will be appropriate to clarify how they came in handy in your previous position and how you will use them for new duties. And each subsequent strength should make it past the same filter before getting into the cover letter. Such an approach will make your copy not only authentic but also maximally informative.
Winning Self-Presentation Is Not Complete Without Soft Skills
It’s great that your job skills meet the requirements and you can talk about them with ease. However, the employer also takes into account your ability to achieve harmony in work with the team and adapt to the proposed social environment. These factors are more dependent on personal qualities that should not be ignored in the text, as they matter for long-term cooperation. Undoubtedly, it is not about characteristics like “good” or “kind,” but about soft skills and emotional intelligence as critical selection criteria in the modern labor market. In this regard, it is appropriate to indicate the skills of empathy, active listening, or communication as auxiliary factors of your successful performance. Although they are not always related to direct duties and are not indicated in a diploma or certificate, they play a critical role in your professional portrait.
So What Is The Bottom Line?
As you can see, even the lack of precise rules for writing this document does not negate the careful approach to its creation. Besides, the task may seem even more difficult given that the limited length of the text does not leave room for mistake. Nevertheless, the cover letter is intended not to make things hard for the candidate, but to increase his or her chances of getting a job, which is undoubtedly worth the efforts. Especially if these efforts are reduced only to high priority to the desired company and time to analyze own professional advantages. The remaining tasks, whether formatting the text, its structure, or selecting individual winning phrases, can be entrusted to the online builder www.getcoverletter.com. Job, in any case, will be not long in coming with proper interest and motivation to find it.