What Is The Purpose of a Cover Letter? Here's What You Need to Know

Author —
Astley
April 7, 2021
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You already have a CV. Isn’t another application unnecessary, what’s the purpose of a cover letter? 

Many job seekers today overlook the importance of a cover letter. The significant impact it can leave on your recruiters will play its part on the decisive moment for whether you’re going to get hired or not.

To put simply, cover letters can be your gateway to improving your overall job application and a higher chance of getting the job.

Unless your resume is absolutely perfect with no flaws, why settle for less? A cover letter can greatly increase your odds of getting hired for the company you want to work for, even if it’s a competitive job posting. 

Curious enough to want to know how cover letters can improve your chances? 

No need to look elsewhere. We’re going to cover the purpose of a cover letter in this guide as well as how it can upgrade your overall job application.

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a documented letter you send along with your CV to your prospective employer. 

Unlike a CV where you focus talking about your overall work experience and skills, in your cover letter you’re specifically talking about why you’re the best person for the job. 

Think of your CV as the main dish. 

Your cover letter is the secondary dish to complete the main course. It adds colour, personality and that extra tip to the entire recipe. Although it’s not always necessary, it’s good to use one when you have gaps in your work history or if you’re applying for a competitive job posting.

What’s The Purpose of a Cover Letter?

The main purpose of a cover letter is to show employers why you’re perfect for the job. 

If you’re lacking in a particular area or have anything missing from your application which makes it weaker, then that’s where cover letters come in. You have the chance to make up for that and stand apart from the rest of the other candidates and market yourself as the ideal person they’re looking to hire.

And, what is that cover letter for? 

Your cover letter acts as an application tool to compliment your resume. What you show on your resume is what your cover letter should elaborate on and go into detail. However, you should always be careful not to focus too much on yourself though by relating back to the needs of the company you’re applying to.

For both your CV and cover letter, your job is to sell yourself. Sell your skills, work experience and expertise. 

Except, the goal with your cover letter is to express yourself more personally and creatively. You have more freedom to go in-depth and demonstrate your expertise and personality to the hiring manager. 

This means you can describe the things you’ve mentioned on your CV in more detail. 

For example, you can go into detail about the how and why you managed to achieve something from your previous work experience. Or, you can go in depth about your hobbies and interests, values and preferences, motivations, etc. 

Any achievements and such listed on your CV, your cover letter should personalize that a step further. 

It’s where you can show the employers you’re not just in it for the salary. 

Actually, you’re a self-motivated, passionate worker in this industry and field of work. If recruiters can see that you’re a better company fit, they’ll consider hiring you over someone else even if you’re lacking in desirable skills and work experience.

How Cover Letters Improve Your Employment Chances

Here’s an important fact you should remember: 

83% of hiring decision-makers have said a great cover letter convinced them to schedule an interview with their candidate. 

That statistic alone shows how powerful a cover letter can be and what it can do for you as a job seeker. It’s difficult to stand out on your CV by itself since all applications tend to be similar since it’s predominantly focused on your skills and experience.

When telling apart a good resume from a great resume, it's distinguishable but not always obvious.

On the other hand, when telling apart a good cover letter from a great cover letter, it’s a lot easier to distinguish because they’re more personalized than CV’s are. 

This makes it twice more important to not have a basic or generic cover letter. 

To be more specific, we’ll look at the cover letter factors that improve your employment chances a bit further.

Close The Gaps Behind Your Work History 

If you’re worried about having a weaker CV compared to others because you’re lacking in areas such as work experience, you can use your cover letter to shine over that.

To make up for those gaps, let your cover letter do the talking for you. 

Show how you’re still more than able to get the job done even if you are lacking in other desirable areas. Even if you don’t have everything now, you can still emphasize to employers how and why you’re going to be the best person for the job in the long run.

You can also talk about what happened during those time periods on your cover letter. That’s the best place for it - don't put this on your resume.

Differentiate Yourself From Others & Stand Out

Most ATS resumes are similar to one another. Although you can optimize them to have everything you need, it’s still difficult to differentiate a great resume from a mediocre one because they look somewhat alike. 

However, as mentioned earlier, it’s more obvious with a cover letter because your tone of voice and personality is more noticeable. 

In those cases where you’re a stronger company fit, employers will be more lenient and willing to make an exception for you.

When this happens though, it becomes easier for the hiring manager to make the hiring decision. In the moment of making a tough decision between candidates, they’ll compare cover letters and refer to everything they have about you. The decisive factor however, will stem from seeing whose values and interests are more aligned with the company’s mission.

At that point, you’ll be glad you spent the time making a cover letter. Otherwise, you would be at a disadvantage since all you have is your CV.

More Than Just The Salary

It’s clear most job seekers want the job for a specific company because of the salary, work benefits, or what the company can do for them. 

Remember though, it’s the other way around. It’s not about you. 

It’s about what you can do to benefit the company you’re making an application for. With a cover letter, you can show that the salary isn’t your core motivation. 

It’s more impressive when recruiters can see you’re a self-motivated individual who’s more keen to learn and improve their skills along the way because you’re genuinely passionate about what you do. 

When employers see this, it’s clear who’s going to be the better candidate to hire. 

More Personalized Than a CV

Your resume is an overview and should be more logical and factual. Therefore, your choice of words and language is bound to be more rigid and stiff.

Whereas, you have the freedom to let loose a bit more on your cover letter. 

You have the opportunity to give the hiring manager a glimpse inside your personal life, self-motivations, hobbies and interests. If you can bring them to the conclusion your goals, objectives and values are virtually the same with their mission, that will position you as an ideal match.

It won’t matter if you lack the skills or experience because your values and perspective are already there. 

Skills and work experience is something that can be obtained. Whereas, the internal factors take more than that since they require more commitment.

Unlike developing skills, it’s more difficult to shape and mold someone’s vision. Self-motivation isn’t something that can easily be taught, that’s why it’s valuable to show you’re driven because you’re genuinely passionate about what you do.  

How Cover Letter Mistakes Can Ruin Your Chances

The most common cover letter mistakes are two things:

  1. Not showing any real value
  2. Weak customization

By now, you should have a good idea of the purpose of a cover letter, how it can greatly support your job hunting process and improve your chances. While you can gain those extra benefits, if you’re making unforgivable mistakes on your cover letter, it’ll reduce the probability of getting hired instead of increasing it. 

For example, you’re more focused on yourself instead of talking about what you can do to benefit the company. 

Cover letters are optional. 

They can certainly increase your chances but if it’s not on par with your CV, it could hurt your chances. 

If it’s that bad, you may as well send off the CV by itself without a cover letter.

Starting to feel a bit worried? Don’t be - that’s only true if you have a terrible cover letter. But, it’s almost impossible to create an awful cover letter when you’re using Rezi. 

This is where our AI cover letter feature comes in handy.

Cover Letters With Rezi 

There’s bound to be mistakes and errors during the process of building your cover letter. Then again, it’s not about how you start. 

It’s how you finish. 

Knowing that, we’ve made the entire process of writing your cover letter extremely simple. You won’t be making any cover letter mistakes and you’ll have a job and company-specific cover letter ready in a few minutes.

All you need to do is type a few words. Then we’ll automatically generate an entire cover letter application specifically for you and the company you want to get hired in.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

I can assure you, it is true. We use AI and GPT-3 technology to scan your job description to instantly create a tailored cover letter. Whenever you make a job application, you’re always going to need to refer back to the job description. 

That being said, here’s all you have to do:

Step 1: Enter your job title

Step 2: Copy and paste the job description

Step 3: Press the “AI Writer Ready” button 

And that’s it. You’ll have generated an entire cover letter in a matter of seconds by clicking and typing a few things. 

Here’s how it looks in action:

What are you waiting for? Create your cover letter now using Rezi’s AI feature for free by clicking below!

Save hours and use Rezi to make a cover letter that
follows best practices employers look for


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