Why a good cover letter is critical to your HR job search

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You put in a lot of work to get your resume right. Now, you’re searching for job postings, and ready to hit submit, when you come across a job that requires a cover letter. Instead of writing one, you could ignore this job, especially since you’ve found other job postings that explicitly say, “No cover letter!” What should you do?

Sit down and write a cover letter. This is because having a cover letter is
definitely Crucial supplement to your HR resume. Let me give you three reasons:

1. Shows extra effort.

Employers want someone who will go the extra mile. When you take the time to craft an exceptionally tailored cover letter for the position you’re interested in, hiring managers will notice.

Take the time to write a cover letter because others won’t. Just knowing that you might be one of the 50 candidates who actually send a cover letter puts you ahead of the competition.

2. It allows you to get personal.

I like to think of creating resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles as being like putting on a new suit. Your CV is the suit jacket – you are a snob and handle business. The cover message is when you take off your suit jacket, but your tie is still tightly knotted and your forearms are lowered: a little more accessible, but with an air of respectability. LinkedIn profiles appear when you loosen your tie and roll up your sleeves. You can play around a little bit with this case and get an aura of “voluptuousness” without going overboard.

A cover letter is the perfect place to introduce some of your personality so recruiters can get a feel for who you are, rather than just what you can do. It’s a good among your LinkedIn profile’s bio.

3. Shows enthusiasm.

By writing a cover letter, you are sailing ahead of the competition. Your resume has shown the employee that there is a genuine person interested in this opportunity. With a cover letter, you are taking the time to show that you have researched the organization you want to work for and are excited about the opportunity.

An effective cover letter will be tailored to your desired position and can include information that fills in the gaps of what hiring managers are looking for. For example, the job description might say that one of the responsibilities will be to manage the hiring process. You can add a section to explain how you use your creativity to recruit, hire, and retain employees who have demonstrated longevity with the company. Or maybe you’ve noticed that the company you’re applying to values ​​its environmental footprint, a topic you’re passionate about. Include this in your cover letter.

Assuming you agree that you need to write a cover letter, here are the guidelines that will help you create a document that will lead to interviews:

Use the same address.

Whatever you format your name and contact information on on your resume, you’ll want to do the same on your cover letter. This keeps it at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind.

For example:

Southern Mary
Austin, Texas | 641.351.9492 |
[email protected] | Linkedin: mary-southern

Then, format the rest of your letter in a formal letter style with the date aligned, the person’s name, company name, and so on.

It’s also smart to use the name of the hiring person when possible. If you do some searching on LinkedIn or the company’s website, you may find this name so you can specifically address your cover letter to him. (Hint: It’s also easiest to write a letter to a real person, so whether you have a name or not, remember that the person will read your letter.) If you can’t find a name, simply address a cover letter to the “hiring manager.”

Short and sweet is key.

While resumes often run with two or more pages, a cover letter should stay to one page. In fact, the optimal letter is between 250 and 400 words. This doesn’t give you much room, so you have to be selective about what you include and leave out.

Be sure to read the employer’s application guidelines carefully. If they want a PDF, make sure to send it like this. Be on the lookout for other details in the job posting such as formatting, length, margins, and content so that you can tailor your cover letter to their requirements. It’s another way to show that you’re invested in her and want the job.

Also, never send your cover letter (or resume) without proofreading it. Some tricks that can help you find errors are:

  1. Read your documents out loud.
  2. Change the font to Comic Sans (remember to change it back).
  3. Go line by line, starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Each of these suggestions tricks you into seeing the words differently so your brain doesn’t fill in the blanks and fix them automatically.

Another technique is to use a lot of action verbs. For example, instead of writing, “I was in charge of the payroll,” change it to read, “I headed a group of eight exceptional members in the payroll department.”

It’s okay to dread writing a cover letter. It’s not easy to write well, plus you might think that creating a great resume is all we really need. But remember that unlike your resume, your cover letter will almost certainly be read by another human being, not an applicant tracking system. Given that, it could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.

Mary Southern is the founder of Resume Assassin in Austin, Texas, offering more than 12 years of experience in resume writing, human resources, and career and academic counseling. It has helped thousands of professionals across a variety of industries break into a wide range of leading companies. Learn more through www.resumeassassin.com Connect with Mary V www.linkedin.com/in/mary-southern.