Do we need to waste time and energy on a cover letter? And if so, how exactly is it drafted?
Write or not write? Well, here’s the question…
Write or not write a cover letter sending your resume to the job you are interested in? This is a question that almost all job seekers ask every day. More than half of them (54%), according to the Superjobs Research Center, decide for themselves that covering letters are a waste of time, because all the important information is in the resume. About one third of the population (31%), on the contrary, believe that a properly drafted cover letter significantly increases the chances of success. Whose point of view is correct?
This argument in absentia is one of those in which both sides are right in their own way. The majority of employers (91%) consider all resumes regardless of having a cover letter, 8% work only with resumes that have at least a formal cover letter, and only 1% do not consider resumes without a cover letter.
So why do recruiters, unlike their Western colleagues, not attach importance to cover letters? The reason is that these documents are not high enough. According to recruitment managers, most applicants do not know how to write cover letters correctly, so often an illogical message with many mistakes is simply not taken into account. “An accompanying letter is not so important as very few applicants know how to write it,” explained the recruiters we interviewed.
But against this background, it’s easy to buy extra points! If your cover letter is written logically, competently and contains important information for the employer, do not doubt that it will be a significant plus! You just need to learn how to write this document, and the path to the work of your dreams can be shorter.
Structure of the cover letter
Let’s start with the main one. Why are we writing a cover letter? The purpose of this document is to draw attention to your resume, make the recruiter read it carefully and make him/her interested in your candidacy.
At the same time, the wording should be in line with generally accepted ideas about business correspondence. Creativity and humor are only acceptable if you have no doubts about the relevance and quality of your ideas and jokes. However, there is one nuance. If you claim a position in the creative team, then deviations from the business style is quite appropriate. Non-standard (but interesting and literate) cover letter you may well interest the employer.
What should I report in a covering letter? Experts highlight a few items that should be adhered to.
It is very important to address the recipient correctly. As a rule, in placed vacancies, there is information about the contact person – HR manager, who directly supervises the vacancy. It is best to address a cover letter to him. “Good afternoon, Clara!”; “Dear Devid Winston!” – the usual wording would be fine. If a particular employee is not listed, you can use the standard “politeness formulas”: “Dear ladies and gentlemen!” Experts warn against informal appeals, which are not typical for the business style of writing, for example, “Good time of day, employees of LLC “***”!
Also in the covering letter it is accepted to specify a source of the information about vacancy: “On a page of your company in a social network it is informed, that you need the manager on sales”; “From your employee, the expert on IT Jack Cooper, I learned, that you have open vacancy of the programmer 1C”. However, if you send your resume through the recruitment portal, it is not necessary – the recruiter and without it is clear where you got the information.
Now let’s get to the point. In a few sentences (short and clear) you need to set out who you are and why you want to work in this company. At the same time, you do not need to retell your resume – it is important only to emphasize the most important thing – what distinguishes you from other candidates. As a rule, it is work experience and professional achievements. For example: “My work experience in the PR field is 4 years. At my current place of work I managed to double the number of publications about the company in the media within the previous budget. The work you do attracts me by the scale of my tasks and the opportunity to work in a creative team”. Interested in your qualities, the recruiter himself will open and carefully study your CV.
Experts warn you: you should not write about your career ambitions in an accompanying letter. This may scare off the recruiter, because at the moment he needs to close a specific position, not to replenish the pool of top managers with your candidacy. So it’s better to cross out the phrase: “Working in your company attracts me with a career opportunity”.
There is no need to focus on doubtful places on your resume, if any. For example, it’s better to explain why you haven’t worked for six months at a job interview, in person.
An accompanying letter is not a confession or a detailed autobiography, but only a short business self-representation.
Avoid platitudes. “I am easy to learn, communicative and stress-resistant” – this is stated in many resumes and cover letters, so many recruiters do not pay attention to such template phrases.
At the end of the letter do not forget to add that in case your candidate is interested, you are ready to come to the interview and answer all your questions. You should also sign up and indicate your contacts. Of course, these details are on your resume, but these are the rules of business etiquette.
“Working for your company attracts me…”
So, what’s a good cover letter supposed to look like? For example, a candidate for the position of sales manager could make it look like this:
“Good afternoon, Catherine!
From the “Career” section on your company’s website I found out about the open position of a sales manager.
You may be interested in my experience in this area: for five years I have been selling software in the company “***”. Among my personal achievements are large contracts for delivery of software products with a number of state corporations, increasing the level of sales of the company by 40% annually.
Working in your company attracts me with the opportunity to apply my experience and knowledge on a larger business scale. If you are interested in my resume (see attachment), I will be happy to answer your questions at the interview.
Regards, Chloe Kamel,
a body. ––*».
Before you send a written letter and CV to the addressee, make a sober assessment of its volume.
You should follow a simple rule:brevity is the sister of talent. 2-3 small paragraphs – it will be quite enough to interest the recruiter, but not to tire him.
Finally, do not forget to check your creation for literacy. Spelling and punctuation mistakes can nullify all your works, especially if the position you claim implies a high level of general development. So use dictionaries, reference books and computer word processors.
And the formalities. If you send a resume by email, a cover letter should be in the “body” of your message. If by fax – on a separate page, which should be sent first, before resumes. Recruitment portals usually have a special window for a cover letter.