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Cover Letters

The cover letter is as important as the resume itself and should always be included. If you submit your resume electronically you may not be able to submit a cover letter, so keep this in mind. Remember: the cover letter is a business document like the resume itself and should reflect this. There are many beneficial reasons to submit a cover letter.
  • A cover letter is the first thing a screener or potential employer sees when you send in a resume so you can make an impression immediately and want the reader to read more.
  • The cover letter gives you the perfect vehicle to emphasize certain aspects of your resume.
  • It can be used to pass on "nuggets" of information that might not fit in to the format or style of a traditional resume.
  • One of the most popular reasons to include a cover letter is to explain any sensitive or delicate areas in your background. For example, if you were unemployed for long periods of time or did not stay very long in former positions, you can provide an explanation in your cover letter.
  • You may also use the cover letter to let the reader know you have done your research on the company by providing some little known piece of information about the company in your cover letter. By doing this there will be no doubt how serious you are about the position you are applying for.
If you want to make a good impression and want to include any of the above pieces of information you will need to spend some time preparing the cover letter. Many people spend enormous amounts of time and effort writing up their resume and throw a few poorly connected words together for the cover letter. Not a good idea.

Before putting pen to paper to write your cover letter, decide what message you want to convey. There will generally be two or three points you want to convey in a cover letter, but no more than that. You want the reader to consider you for an interview even though your resume may have gaps or your background is not necessarily what the company is looking for.

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