While applying for a job, everyone submits his or her resume. A resume is a resume, so why is it that certain resumes get an edge over others. Why are some resumes rejected in the resume screening round itself? When the employer asks you a question - 'Why should I hire you? , he/she has this in mind even while screening the resume applications he/she gets for the said job. It is this question that you need to answer, and when you are not face-to-face with your prospective employer, your resume cover letter will do this for you.
A cover letter is usually confused with a resume. It is not your resume, but it should complement your resume. The employer will get all the details regarding your qualification and employment from your resume, and thus the cover letter should not repeat all this. It is a letter that is sent along with your resume, while sending a job application. The aim of the cover letter is:
- Introduction - Your name and the position you wish to apply for.
- Highlight your USP - the key skills, achievements or experience that differentiate you from other candidates.
- It should create an interest among the reader
- Requesting an action on the part of the employer.
Your cover letter is thus an important tool that supports your resume, and if drafted correctly, will force your prospective employer, to go ahead and read your resume. This gives you a chance to at least get your resume screened in the first round (resume screening), and then move ahead. It would help you pave a way to reach to your prospective employer.
This letter is of three types. The first and most common type of letter is 'application or invited' letter. It is used to respond back to a job advertisement. The second type is the 'prospecting or uninvited' cover letter, which is used to enquire about the possible job openings. The last type is the 'networking cover letter', which is used by the job seeker to seek help and information during the job search. These three types of letters have a set purpose, and have to be written carefully with this purpose in mind.
Writing a cover letter is thus not like writing a mere application. It has to be customized, original, and should have a thought process involved in it. The employer will analyze your ability and interest in the job position reading your cover letter. If you mess up with this, the prospective employer might not even read your resume. This makes it very important to seek some help in writing this letter specially if you have not written one before, or do not have an idea about the format of this letter. Keeping this in mind, we have a number of sample resume cover letters for different job openings and different fields. Using these sample letters you can draft a letter for your resume.
Another very important point in a cover letter is that it has to be customized. Sending out a generic letter is not a good idea. You need to take some effort to draft this letter as per the position and organization you are applying for. This makes it necessary that you get an access to some sample letters for almost all possible job profiles and positions. If you get a reference cover letter for the job you are applying for, it will be easy for you to draft a letter for your job application, and make your letter look relevant to the position applied for.
Have a look at some sample resume and resume cover letter examples, and write a cover letter for your resume that would complement your resume, and give you a chance over the others.