Why Have A Cover Letter?
By: LaShina Mack, Founder and Contributing Writer
What is a cover letter and why bother having one?
A cover letter is the introduction you make to a recruiter or hiring manager. A cover letter gives an overview of your background and skills and says why you should be selected for the position. Think of it as a longer version of an elevator pitch. You are essentially telling the recruiter why they should select you above and beyond all other candidates going for the same position. You are tasked with making this pitch compelling. Not only should it be compelling but it also should be eye catching in regards to presentation.
Do you need a cover letter? Absolutely. There used to be a time where a cover letter was considered optional. Now if you don't have one, you're one of those people that are behind the ball. Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. Let's say you have a great group of people who have excellent skills and solid backgrounds. Now you are comparing their cover letters and resumes. However, some of them don't even have a cover letter. Will that make a difference? Possibly. Especially if candidates are neck-and-neck. Who would you rather be— the candidate that had a cover letter and resume or the candidate that only had a resume?
It's best to over-deliver rather than to under-deliver.
I hear from clients all of the time how impressed recruiters were with their cover letters. So for those who say that no one reads cover letters, they can't be more wrong. Do you just buy stuff online or do you look at reviews first prior to purchasing? I am a review type of gal. Just like most recruiters are cover letter type of people. The cover letter tells the hiring manager what they need to know about you as a person before even looking at your resume. Sure, your resume tells them whether you are qualified or not but a cover letter can tell them whether or not you may be a fit.