Job Search Best Practices #4 – Cover Letters

It’s been over a year, but I thought I’d finish up the Job Search Best Practices series. Hopefully, you’ll feel better about writing a cover letter and sending it with applications after reading my advice below.

Cover Letters

Should you or shouldn’t you? You will get all kinds of conflicting advice on this one. I fall on the side of, yes, always send a cover letter. It is a way to set your application apart from the rest by showing that you did your research about the position and the company. It is also a way for you to demonstrate in the letter how you are a good fit for the job. It can also show the reader that you know how to write, which is very important in business.

That does not mean it should be long. Make sure the content takes up about half the page and leave the rest to the heading, opening and closing. When reaching out to someone via email and attaching your resume, make sure you include a note in the email explaining why you are forwarding your resume, what sets you apart (your personal branding statement) and what they will find in the attached document.

Make sure you include your cover letter in the same document as your resume when uploading your resume to a company website in response to a job posting. Don’t upload two documents – just one. If that means turning your cover letter into a text document like your resume, do it. Don’t worry about aesthetics, upload the version most friend to the ATS program the company is using to scan and collate resumes.