Purpose of the Cover Letter: Capturing the Employer's Attention in 2 Minutes
An effective cover letter shows potential employers that you are the right person for the job. Through a cover letter, you convey your authenticity and enthusiasm and highlight the qualifications that make you a good fit for the role. Although a cover letter has several benefits, many people ask the same question what is the purpose of a cover letter?
In the following guide, we are going to cover the purpose of the cover letter and how we can use a cover letter to capture the employer’s attention instantly.
A cover letter is a one-page document that you have to submit when applying for a job, along with your resume. A cover letter is a persuasive letter that aims to convey to the employer why you are a great fit for the role. The main purpose of a cover letter is to complement your resume and explain your resume’s shortcomings or issues in detail.
Employers usually don’t mention in the job posting whether you need to send a cover letter in your job application or not. Some recruiters simply ask only for your resume, while others tell you to send both, a cover letter and a resume. Whether the job posting needs a cover letter with your job application or not, if you can send one, you should avail the opportunity. The main purpose of a cover letter is:
· It helps you to establish a rapport with your prospective employers. A cover letter allows you to impress the recruiters by highlighting your most valued and unique skills, academic qualifications, and work experience.
· It gives you a chance to reveal your true personality so that the employer can get a better idea of who you are and what should they be expecting if they hire you for the position.
· It is an essential marketing tool that helps you deliver your value proposition.
· It gives you a chance to tell your story. Since a resume is a brief document, most of the important information does not fit in it, therefore, a cover letter is used to explain your resume and to further convince the employer why you are perfect for the job.
To create an effective opening for your cover letter, follow these steps:
If you are genuinely attracted to the company’s brand or have previously used its products or services, then you should describe your enthusiasm for working for the company in the first sentence of your cover letter. Employers usually value authentic enthusiasm because it translates to highly motivated and successful employees.
You can create a memorable opening paragraph for your cover letter by starting it with an impressive accomplishment that features quantifiable results. To impress the recruiter, it is important to emphasize the connection between how you added value during your previous experience and how you can apply your expertise to the new role.
A cover letter purpose is to highlight your skills and work history; therefore, you must ensure that your accomplishment relates to your desired role and hiring organization, and you should quantify the contribution your achievement had to previous organizations.
Passion is one of the greatest driving forces behind success. Recruiters are always searching for candidates who can be their advocates and who have a strong work ethic, therefore, starting by expressing your passion and motivation can instantly capture the reader’s attention.
If a former colleague referred you to the job you are applying for, the beginning of your cover letter should mention that specific person. When you mention a former colleague of the company, it immediately grabs the recruiter’s attention because they want to see why someone they know and respect recommended you for that particular role.
When mentioning someone in your cover letter, you should avoid using extreme words or verbose phrases, as that might seem unprofessional to the potential employer. Your tone should reflect excitement and gratitude, and make sure to keep it brief because you must let the recommendation speak for itself.
If you want to impress the employer with a brief and impactful statement, then you must start with a short and impactful belief statement that mirrors the organization’s values and goals. Whenever reflecting organization’s values, always try to write something original.
Aim to relate your belief statement to the mission statement of the recruiter. For a more practical approach, you can also reference the steps you have taken to support your beliefs throughout your career and explain how you can use your values to positively contribute to the organization’s success.
The purpose of a cover letter is to prove to the recruiter that you have done your research. If the company you are applying for was recently in the news, then you should mention it in the opening line and explain why you admire the company. Mentioning a specific event, fact, notable statistic, or award the company recently won significantly increases your chances of being selected for an interview.
A cover letter is your canvas to show your professional personality to prospective employers. Although you are not submitting your cover letter to a creative writing contest, you don’t have to be afraid to inject some humor, charisma, and creativity, as long as it is appropriate for the specific position and organization.
Recruiters are usually looking for something that immediately grabs their attention. Therefore, you need to do some research on the company culture, examine the tone of the job posting, and use your judgment when using the creative route.
Here are a few tips that you could follow to create an effective cover letter that helps you stand out from the crowd:
You should never send generic cover letters to your employer. Applicants usually make this mistake, but they often ignore the fact that cover letters include specific details about the employer, which makes it much easier to spot when you are using a generic cover letter.
By sending generic cover letters you simply ignore the cover letter purpose, which eventually leads you to nothing. Therefore, you should customize your cover letter for every job that you apply for. Customization is very simple; all you have to do is read the job description closely and make sure it explains how you will address what the employer seeks in a candidate.
It is advisable to match the formatting of your cover letter and resume, this includes the font styles, margins, and line spacing. The first thing you need to do is to choose the best resume format for your career path.
According to your preference, pick your font and set the margins and line spacing properly. Once everything is set, make a copy of the document to write your cover letter. This will help you retain the formatting of your resume.
One of the best ways to start your cover letter is by personally addressing the employer. By using the employer’s name, you indirectly show that you have customized the cover letter, which in turn gives a positive impression to the recruiter.
You may have to do some research from your end, and there is no harm in reaching out to the company and asking them to whom the application should be addressed. If you are still unable to get the employer’s name, then you can simply start your cover letter with ‘Dear Hiring Manager’.
After a resume, the cover letter is the most important document of your job application, therefore, you have to make sure it is error-free. The purpose of a cover letter is to make a strong impression on the employer, so the last thing you would want is to have a mistake on it.
Being disqualified for the job just based on a grammatical error would be very disappointing, therefore, it is recommended to run a spell-check and proofread your document for maximum accuracy. You can even have a family member or friend read your cover letter, as another set of eyes can help you identify some mistakes before you submit.
By reading the above guide, you must have known clearly what is the purpose of a cover letter and how it enhances the worth of your job application. Whenever writing your cover letter, you must ensure that you use examples that demonstrate your relevant skills, knowledge, and interests. To achieve maximum effectiveness of your cover letter, make sure it is concise, clear, and well-organized.
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