This article is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.
The two most common questions I receive during the kick off call are, “How soon can I get a job and is it really necessary to send a cover letter?
In a world where technology has made it possible for us to communicate with others without ever having to speak to them face-to-face, the cover letter still remains an important part of the job application process. Here are four reasons why you should never underestimate the power of a good cover letter:
1. Competition is Fierce:
With so many qualified candidates vying for a limited number of positions, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. A well-written cover letter is your opportunity to showcase your skills and differentiate yourself from the competition. In a survey of over 2,000 workers, three out of four full time employees reported that they were planning to quit their jobs in the next 12 months. This implies the rivalry is never-ending. In fact, ResumeGo conducted a survey of 236 hiring managers and recruiters, which found that 87% of these individuals read through the cover letter when they go through applications.
While a resume may be a dry list of your qualifications, a cover letter is your chance to really shine and show the hiring manager who you are. So don’t underestimate the power of a good cover letter – it could be just what you need to land that dream job.
2. It Shows You’re Serious About the Job:
A cover letter demonstrates that you’re taking the job application process seriously and that you’re genuinely interested in the position. This is especially important if you’re applying for a job that requires specific qualifications or experience.
3. It’s a Chance to Make a Good First Impression:
Your cover letter is often the first thing a hiring manager will read, so it’s your chance to make a good first impression. This is your opportunity to sell yourself and explain why you’re the best candidate for the job. It’s an opportunity for you to share a little bit about who you are, what motivates you and why you’re interested in the position. This information can help hiring managers determine if you’re a good fit for the job.
Perhaps you’re thinking, but writing is not my strong suit. That’s why here at Flatiron School we pair you up with a career coach during your job search journey. This job search expert can assist with crafting the perfect cover letter that not only describes who you are outside of your resume, but perks the interest of recruiters to want to interview you. In addition, there are platforms out there that can help with grammar such as grammarly.
4. It’s An Opportunity to be Creative:
A cover letter is your chance to be creative and show off your personality. This is your opportunity to really sell yourself and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job. As mentioned, there might be things that you’ve done that can’t fit into your one page resume. Or, perhaps volunteer experience that may not be directly related to the position, however, demonstrates your passion for a certain industry. It provides a space to elaborate what is beyond the resume. A well-written cover letter can highlight your strengths and showcase your unique qualifications for the job.
In addition, it provides a place to tell your story in your own words. COVID-19 has impacted many people both professionally and personally. Workers have been laid off due to the pandemic, or put in difficult career positions. The focus of your cover letter should be positive, however, explaining the long gaps or how the pandemic has affected your career can shed some light on your situation that your resume could not explain. A simple statement is enough to explain the situation. Be strategic of how you state it so that you can then speak on how the role excites you.
Research has also shown that a generic cover letter can hurt the applicant’s ability to land an interview or job. Competition for jobs is fierce, and it’s more important than ever to make a good first impression. A well-written, creative cover letter can help you stand out from the pack and land an interview. So take your time writing one, and be sure to tell your story in a way that showcases your personality and demonstrates why you’d be a great fit for the job.
About Riza Tantay
Riza Tantay was once an information technology recruiter turned career coach. After easily reviewing 100+ resumes and conducting interviews, her drive is to help others land jobs in companies they believe in. Through her courses and private coaching, she helps people navigate the job search with strategy and confidence. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the Jack Welch Institute to help advance visionary CEO’s build their dream team. Outside of her work, you’ll find her jet setting to different countries and exploring the world.