If you’ve found the perfect job opportunity, you clearly need an amazing resume to submit with your application. However, what about a cover letter? If the job description doesn’t ask for it, are cover letters necessary?
It’s understandable that, if it’s not required, you might choose to bypass the cover letter and only submit your resume. Many experts agree, however, that you should always submit a cover letter unless you’re explicitly asked not to do so.
Think of it this way—a cover letter is necessary because it gives you another opportunity to set yourself apart and identify why you’re an ideal fit for the job. Also, where a resume highlights why you’re a good fit based on your past experiences, a cover letter allows you to showcase more of who you are and why you’re interested in the position. In some instances, a solid cover letter could help land you an interview when your resume alone might have ended in a rejection.
A cover letter is professional business communication, so you want the layout to look professional and clean.
When you’re attaching your cover letter to an application, you’ll format it as follows:
In some instances, the content of your cover letter might be included in an email. In that case, you’ll exclude the date and begin your email with the salutation. You’ll then move your contact information to the bottom of the email, so it falls below your name in the closing.
For consistency, you should also use the same type and size font for your resume. Finally, you should keep your cover letter to a single page because recruiting managers typically only spend a few seconds skimming the contents of your job application.
Here are some additional tips to help you adhere to proper cover letter etiquette when applying for jobs.
When possible, address your cover letter to someone directly. Do research to find out who the recruiting lead or hiring manager is for the position. If you run into challenges in trying to find a name to address the letter to, consider sending a message to the contact included in the job posting, mentioning that you’d like to address your cover letter to someone directly and asking who the best contact would be. If all else fails, you can use “Dear Hiring Manager” or something similar.
Including information about the company is necessary in cover letters. It will show the company you’re truly interested and proactive. Find out all you can about the company. Browse through its social channels and website so you can speak to what you align with and are excited about, and why you’re the best match to work there.
Where your resume showcases the value you’ve provided in the past, your cover letter is an opportunity to express the value you’ll provide in the future. When you speak to the value you can add, it’s the ideal time to connect it to helping solve any pain points that came to light during your research about the company and the open position.
Unless you want it—and your resume—to go in the trash pile, it is necessary to edit and proofread your cover letter. Recruiters and hiring managers often report that grammatical errors are a common issue in the cover letters and resumes they receive. It’s a good idea to work with a professional writing or editing service to proof your documents or have a friend you trust review them, so you can make any necessary edits before submitting.
At Advantis Global, we work with companies seeking to place permanent and contract skilled tech talent. Our team of recruiters can support you in landing your next job at your ideal company, including if you’re looking for a position or industry change. We will work with you to help provide interview coaching and connect you with the best jobs, increasing your chances of landing your dream job. We often place candidates in a higher level or higher paying position compared to their previous job.
Submit your resume or apply for a job on our website to get connected with a recruiter today.