A well written cover letter can make a lasting impression on job recruiters and is an additional way to showcase skills and achievements that may not appear on your resume.
Using Cover Letters as Marketing Tools: Research the Company
Researching the company and including a statement that references familiarity with the company’s growth and business model shows professionalism and an interest in the industry the company operates in.
Cover letters should never be generic. Cover letters that could be written for any company, in any industry will quickly be discarded and may only lead to your resume being scanned for two seconds or disregarded entirely.
Using Cover Letters as Marketing Tools: Include Additional Metrics
Cover letters can be used to include additional metrics (i.e. managed quarterly budget of 2.5 million) that you may not have been able to include in your resume due to space or formatting requirements.
A bulleted list works well when listing additional employment metrics and is easy to scan by prospective employers.
Using Cover Letters as Marketing Tools: Include the Benefits You Will Bring to the Company
A cover letter may be the perfect place to showcase additional benefits you will bring to the company if chosen for employment. Benefits should focus on what you can do for the company, such as extensive experience that gives you insight into the company’s industry.
You may also want to include a brief synopsis of one of your biggest accomplishments that benefited your former or present employer.
Using Cover Letters as Marketing Tools: Include Additional Training
It is often difficult to list all the continuing educational courses or certifications you have earned on your resume. Including these in your cover letter will ensure all pertinent training is documented.
A paragraph or bulleted list is the easiest way to show additional training that you have completed.
Using Cover Letters as Marketing Tools: Clear up any Discrepancies
If you have a large gap in employment (6 months or more), your cover letter is the perfect place to clear any questions up if you have a valid explanation. Stating that you took time off to take care of a sick relative, go back to school or volunteer overseas shows that you are aware that your resume has a hole in it and understand this might be a concern.
Keep explanations to one or two sentences only, prospective employers do not need to know your life story. If an additional explanation is needed, you’ll be asked during your interview.
Crafting a cover letter can be time consuming, but doing so can help give you an edge in the long run.