The purpose of a cover letter is to show the company why you’re the best person to hire. It gives you extra space in your application to share your backstory and how you have the right background for the role.
Although cover letters can help you get an interview, not everyone is convinced that it’s worth the hassle.
So, we’ll be going through the importance of a cover letter as well as the advantages candidates who send cover letters have compared to those who don’t.
What is a Cover Letter?
Cover letters are persuasive letters you send to a prospective employer. It shows why you're the right person that they should hire.
Unlike a resume, a cover letter is more personal. It’s the seasoning of your application by giving insight into your personality and going into detail about specific parts of your professional background that are most significant and relevant to the recruiter.
The Purpose of a Cover Letter and How It Helps You Secure the Job
There’s a difference between a qualified candidate and the right candidate.
A qualified candidate is someone that’s capable of getting the job done. However, the right candidate is someone that’s not only capable of getting the job done. It’s also someone with the following:
- Communication skills
- Leadership ability
Recruiters use cover letters to assess a candidate based on the points above. It also gives insight into whether the candidate aligns with the company culture.
On one hand, resumes give employers a summary of your work history. On the other hand, the best cover letters will elaborate on key details from your resume to give the reader an idea of your personality and how you operate in the corporate world.
For example, on your resume you might’ve mentioned that you achieved X and Y results. So in your cover letter, write about the entire process from start to finish on how you achieved X and Y results.
How the Purpose of a Cover Letter Differs From a Resume
Your resume answers the “how”. See it as the tip of the iceberg. In contrast, your cover letter is what’s beneath the iceberg – it answers the “why”. A resume describes your work history whereas the cover letter explains it by taking a closer look into your skills, work experience, and qualifications.
While resumes and cover letters serve different purposes, the former is the primary form of a job application. But, the latter gives employers a better understanding of your work background.
5 Advantages of Sending Good Cover Letters Compared to Sending No Cover Letters
All advantages add up to one thing – improving your chances of an interview by helping you stand out.
To give you a better idea of how impactful cover letters are, let’s look at a quick scenario.
Imagine you’re the CEO of a small business looking to hire a new photographer.
Two resumes get your attention. Person A has a cover letter whereas Person B doesn’t. In Person A’s cover letter, you learn that they’re passionate about portrait photography and that they’re a people person with a knack for getting smiles and making clients happy.
Now, you have insight into Person A’s personality compared to Person B simply because of a cover letter. And at first glance, Person A may look like the better fit for the role. This is what helps them get their name on the interview list.
1. Mention What You Couldn’t on Your Resume
Here’s some examples of what can be included on a cover letter that’s not usually on a resume:
- Mutual connections
- Personal experiences
- Fields of interest
- Company culture
Even though some of the above can be put on a resume, it can’t go in-depth into each aspect. For example, you could list your areas of interest and expertise on a resume. But, you wouldn’t be able to explain the story behind it unless you use a cover letter.
2. Close the Gaps in Your Resume
Don’t have years of experience to talk about? No problem, use a cover letter to highlight your background in other areas such as:
- Teamwork skills
- Growth mindset
- Project achievements
Cover letters are especially useful to those with little to no work experience. There are other things to put on the spotlight that demonstrate your potential. This also applies to those making a significant career change as you can focus on how you developed transferable skills and how you came to your decision.
3. Match the Company Culture
Cover letters highlight specific parts of your background that show you align with the company’s core values.
Employers like to see when candidates have done their research. It hints at your work ethic and motivation by going beyond the resume to tailor your application. All of which play a part in determining whether or not you’d be a good addition to the team.
Although cover letters aren’t necessary, this is one factor that recruiters use for making a decision.
4. Show That You Have a Genuine Interest in the Profession
Companies like to select those with a genuine interest in the profession. Not those who are motivated only because of the salary.
Your resume focuses on describing your skills and experience. In contrast, you write a cover letter to discuss a particular aspect of your career to give recruiters an understanding of how you approach and solve a problem.
The ideal candidate is also someone that brings a positive influence on the company culture.
5. Double Down on Soft Skills
Resumes portray your technical skills whereas cover letters portray your character.
Both hard skills and soft skills are a must-have. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep performing to the best of your ability.
The reason soft skills are impressive is that it’s developed through personal experience. While they can be implied through your resume, use a cover letter to expand on your point. For instance, share how you developed trust with stakeholders.
However, an Awful Cover Letter Will Make You Look Bad
Well, now you know the importance of a cover letter. So if you’re convinced enough to send one, make sure it’s good.
Double-check your application to prevent cover letter mistakes such as:
- Not adding any new information
- Going over 350 words
- Spelling and grammar errors
Rushing a cover letter won’t fulfill its purpose because it won’t be tailored for the company you’re interested in.
Then again, it’s another commitment. You’ve just been through war with creating your resume…
The effort is worth it but it doesn’t have to take hours. We’ll show you how to create a personalized cover letter without having to write a single word.
Don’t Want to Spend Hours on Your Cover Letter? An AI Writer Only Takes 1 Minute
Rezi’s AI writer does the hard work for you by taking details from your work background and the job you’re applying for to create a cover letter. In fact, the whole process takes less than 1 minute.
Here’s how it works:
- Enter the company name.
- Write the job position/title you’re applying for.
- Select a previous job position/title to highlight.
- Press “AI Writer Ready”.
It’s pretty straightforward.
No more back-and-forth research or hopping between the company’s website about page and job description.
Or click the video below to see Rezi’s AI cover letter generator in action.
Cover Letters Are Still Important
Cover letters are far from dying. Hiring managers still use them to make a decision.
Use it to explain your competitive advantages and how they would make you a valuable asset. Moreover, use Rezi to simplify the process so you have more time to prepare yourself for the interview.
What are you waiting for? Create your cover letter now using Rezi’s AI feature for free by clicking below!