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The high unemployment rate brought by 2020’s predicament has caused today’s job market to be more competitive. As a consequence, candidates need an optimum solution to stand out and boost their employment success rate. In some cases, it takes more than a well-written resume to distinguish yourself from other applicants. You need a cover letter to complement your resume.
An effective cover letter goes beyond reiterating your strengths, experience, and expertise that have already been highlighted in the resume. It should exhibit your potential as the best fit for the job, propelling recruiters to move forward with your application. While cover letters are deemed to be irrelevant by many, research shows that 53% of employers prefer a candidate who submits one. In this article, we will discuss five important reasons why you should consider including a cover letter in your job application.
1) Communicates the rationale for the application
Your cover letter offers you the opportunity to articulate your motivation for applying to a specific industry, location, employer, and position. It introduces you to the employer and outlines your relevant qualifications. While many candidates overlook its importance, it plays an integral role in the decision-making process.
To create a compelling cover letter, it is important to know your target company and understand their requirements. We recommend analyzing the job posting thoroughly and identifying the required core strengths. This would allow you to clearly express your enthusiasm and motivation towards the job and explain how you exhibit the qualifications they are looking for. This increases your chances of being considered for an interview.
2) Attracts the employer’s attention
The cover letter serves as your first impression to your potential employer. The content of your cover letter greatly influences your candidacy’s success rate. Hence, it is crucial to write a high-quality cover letter that will showcase you as a strong candidate. This amplifies your chances of moving to the next stage.
As a best practice, it is highly suggested to focus on the benefits you can deliver to the company. We suggest incorporating stories about relevant projects or situations and demonstrating how you contributed to the team’s success. Emphasizing your pertinent key strengths and how you can help the business is known to boost a candidate’s unique selling points. As a result, the probability of your progression through the selection process increases.
3) Provides a clear correlation between your goals and the company culture
Employers typically favor candidates who understand their mission, vision, values, work environment, and products/services. This may be difficult to showcase in a resume alone. Thus, a cover letter is crucial. It is a good way to demonstrate how your work can mutually benefit your future goals and the prospective employer’s demands.
To ensure congruence, it is essential to analyze the position and conduct in-depth research about the company. Then, focus on how your goals match theirs. Find common ground by using company-specific examples of what sparked your interest in them or initiatives that align with your personal vision and values. This will allow you to showcase that you can not only perform an exemplary job but can also fit in with the team.
4) Achieves a distinctive advantage as a candidate
Submitting a cover letter is typically not mandatory. For this reason, not everyone includes cover letters with their resume. However, skipping this step of the application process can hurt your chances of being considered for the role. According to research, cover letters can be a deciding factor for hiring. Recruiters use it as a way of differentiating between applicants with identical qualifications.
Going above and beyond what is mandatory gives recruiters an impression that you are committed to the job. It demonstrates that you value the time of the person receiving the resume by investing time and effort to write to them. Furthermore, it differentiates you from other applicants who just applied with no care for the company deeper than the position at hand. As a result, you become more remarkable to employers which amplifies your chances of winning the job.
5) Allows you to justify your career change
For professionals who don’t have the ideal linear career path, presenting themselves as an attractive candidate in the resume can be challenging. Recruiters can perceive content that exhibits an inexplicable employment gap and multiple short-term jobs as red flags. It raises concerns about your readiness for the job and ultimately diminishes your chances of getting selected for an interview. In this case, including a cover letter in the application would be beneficial.
The cover letter provides you the opportunity to connect the dots and shed light on your resume’s details in a more personal way. This makes it a perfect place to justify issues that can potentially create an interpretation that you are a risky hire. If you are not a local candidate, it will also allow you to present your rationale for relocation and let them know that you can be in the area for a possible interview. Hence, you are addressing any concerns recruiters may have that can jeopardize your candidacy.
A job hunt is a taxing process and doing the extra work of including a cover letter for each application can be an added burden. For this reason, many job seekers would rather leave off this part of the job application process. While this may seem an efficient thing to do, it actually lessens the probability of landing your dream job sooner. According to a survey, 75% of employers agree that a well-written cover letter can improve a less-qualified applicant’s odds of obtaining an interview. This shows that submitting a cover letter is worth the extra effort and can indeed maximize your application success rate.