With all the information included within your resume or professional portfolio, it may seem redundant to include a cover letter for a job submission. But a cover letter serves a very important purpose, and without it, your job search may end up with you lost in the stack of resumes that never get looked at.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is your introduction to prospective employers. It is a way for you to tell them who you are aside from your job experience and educational accomplishments. Your cover letter not only shows you can follow instructions (if the job listing you are applying to specifically requested one) but it shows why you are the best candidate for the position.
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
Employers expect your letter to briefly tell them who you are, why you are applying for the job and what makes you qualified for the job. If you have experience at a similar job, give some details about that. If these jobs and school experiences taught you important lessons that you can carry into the new position, take a sentence or two to explain that. Your letter is also a good place to list out some of your non-work-related activities, such as charity work or hobbies. If your interests are related to the job you are applying for or if they have helped you gain important skills and insights that would help with the position, it may be a great idea to include some details about them.
You don’t want to be too relaxed in your letter. You aren’t sending a text message to a friend or commenting on a post on social media. But you also don’t want it to be too serious. Let a little of your sense of humor, flexibility and creativity show through – if applicable to the job you’re applying for.
Without making it too text-heavy, take some time to sell yourself to your prospective employer. Your letter will give them a sense of who you are as a person and employee. During your career search thoroughly read the job posting for the position you are applying for and then point out how your skill set matches that criteria. Show them you can handle the job. After all, you’re trying to get the interview. You can sell the rest once you’ve landed the interview and talk to them face-to-face.
Florida National University Can Help
A job search can be a tedious prospect. You may apply to many more positions than you will get interviews for, and you will have more interviews than offers of employment. But if you put time and effort into your career search, follow applicable rules and submit a polished resume and cover letter, you’ll have a better chance at finding your dream job.
FNU has a job placement team that focuses on increasing employment opportunities for our students and alumni. The job placement office offers help with polishing your resume, applying to jobs, navigating the job market, interviewing skills techniques and more. Contact FNU’s Job Placement Department for more information.