No, cover letters are not obsolete and yes, you need to write one if it is requested. But why do potential employers want a cover letter? Isn’t your resumé enough? For the applicant, the purpose of the cover letter is to make the reviewer want to read their resumé and is an opportunity to address specific requirements of the job and how the applicant’s experience fulfills those needs.
But why does an employer want to read a cover letter? There can be several reasons:
- They may want evaluate the applicant’s grasp of written language. Is the grammar and spelling being used correctly?
- Does the content have a smooth flow from one paragraph to another? A well written cover letter reads like a good story that flows quickly and easily from start to finish.
- Lastly what is the content? Does the applicant show that they have read the job posting and showcased their experience in a way that sets them apart from other applicants without being too wordy?
- And finally, did the applicant make the reviewer look at the associated resumé? If the answer is yes, mission accomplished.
One trick to see how you are doing with your cover letter is to read the letter out loud once completed. By reading out loud you will see the places that stumble, where the wording is not strong or effective as it could be. You will also catch the mistakes in spelling and word use that spellcheck did catch.
Bottom line, put thought into your cover letter, it is your sales pitch. Give the reviewer a reason to look at your resumé. Make them turn the page!!!
Copyright 2017 Teri Maher