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Cover Letters: 5 More Reasons to Use One

by THEA kelley | October 30, 2012

In a recent post I covered a key reason for the cover letter: to show you’ve done your homework and can relate your skills to the specific company and job.

Here are five more good reasons:

  1. You can say things in a letter that might not be appropriate in your resume. For example, you can explain a career change or gap, discuss a personal interest that is highly relevant to your candidacy, or tell a success story in paragraph form rather than as an ultra-short bullet item.
  2. Communication skills are important in nearly all jobs. A letter is evidence of these skills.
  3. A letter may convey your personality better than a resume, helping the employer feel that they know you.
  4. If the letter is required, failing to comply can make the employer doubt whether you’re a team player. If you failed to deliver on this requirement, they may think, what are you going to be like as an employee?
  5. On the other hand, if a letter is not required, then you’re “going the extra mile” by including it. This demonstrates thoroughness and motivation.

Every recruiter, HR person and hiring manager is a unique human being with his or her own opinions and habits. While some may ignore letters – especially the large number of uninteresting or poorly written letters – other employers find cover letters very revealing. Why knock yourself out of the running with these employers?

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