What is the Point of a Cover Letter, Anyway? (And How to Write a Good One!) by Corey Hubbard

By Corey Hubbard Founder About Town

When it comes to applying for jobs, your cover letter is considered to be just as important as your resume. Without the cover letter submitted, you won't look as professional and can be disqualified from the hiring process. If you want to understand the point of a cover letter and how to write a good one, read on.

Introduce Yourself

The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself to the hiring manager or employer before they get a chance to review your qualifications. You'll want to discuss your interest in their company, keeping in mind that this document is the first point of contact that you have with the company. It should be unique in order to motivate the employer to interview you.

Show Your Personality

The cover letter gives you the chance to show off your personality and prove that you're a good fit for the company. Avoid making your cover letter sound bland or formulaic to ensure that it stands out among other applicants. Allowing the letter to reflect who you are and your characteristics will make it a more enjoyable read and will show that you put effort into drafting the document. One of the best ways to stand out is to make connections, or show how you’re already connected to the company through referrals, career fairs, or even previous employees.

Show Your Professionalism

Although it's important to display your personality in the letter, it's also the chance to show how professional you are with the words that you use. Research the culture of the company in advance, which will influence the type of voice that you should use. You'll need to prove that you'll be a good fit and can represent the organization well. If you're wondering how long a cover letter should be, keep it to a page to ensure that it's easy to glance over quickly for busy professionals. For some extra assurance that your cover letter is the right length to catch that hiring manager’s eye, it needs to take around 75 percent of the entire page. The rest of the document should contain white space. This creates a nice balance that’s visually pleasant to look at.

Discuss Your Skills

Your cover letter should be designed to point out the requirements of the position that you're applying for and discuss how you're qualified for the job. You'll need to show that you understand the business and explain why you'd be a good fit at the company. Talk about your experience in the industry and your accomplishments. All of your selling points in the letter should be relevant to the job that you're applying for, which will motivate the reader to meet you in person.

Although the cover letter may not seem to be important, it will be one of the main factors that are evaluated by hiring managers. By understanding the purpose of the document, you can have more influence over the reader and use the letter as a tool to prove why you're the right candidate for the position.

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