Searching for a new job is a time-consuming endeavor. By some estimates, the typical worker takes about six weeks to apply for, interview and finally land a new job offer. And across any industry and level of work, there's one step to the process that's bound to slow down even the most qualified and enthusiastic candidate: the cover letter. But findings from one new report offer some motivation to draft a good elevator pitch, even in a time when cover letters are becoming increasingly optional. That means, out of every 10 resumes where the applicant might not have the right work history, set of skills or management experience, eight job seekers are likely to advance, as long as they can make up for it in their cover letters. A similar share always expect the document, even if they're not required in order to apply.
Cover Letter Formats: Choosing the Best Type of Cover Letter for Your Job Search
What is a Cover Letter? | Examples
What's the difference between a resume and a cover letter? Both a cover letter and a resume share the common purpose of proving that you have the right skills to excel at the job for which you are applying. However, there are clear distinctions between the structure and intent of the two documents. Job seekers should view their cover letter and resume as a complementary but unique pair of documents. That is, your cover letter should be more than just bullet points regurgitated from the resume.
Cover Letter Templates
A cover letter is a written document commonly submitted with a job application outlining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. Since a cover letter is often one of only two documents sent to a potential employer, a well- or poorly-written letter can impact whether the applicant is called for an interview. Most job postings are done online and no longer require a physical application. Instead, applicants send companies a copy of their resume along with a cover letter either by email or with a hard copy through the mail. A resume offers a glimpse into the professional and academic experience of a potential employee.
A cover letter is a living document that often accompanies a resume. It gives job seekers the opportunity to elaborate on work experience, explain their goals, and show personality. Most of all, cover letters give you a chance to connect your skills to the company's needs.