A cover letter or email is an essential part of a resume.
The cover letter echoes some of the most important achievements from your resume, chosen to highlight your fit for the particular job you are applying for. Sometimes an important experience, skill or accomplishment needs more emphasis or explanation than you have room for in your resume. The cover letter is a perfect place to expand on what’s already in your resume. Cover letters and resumes do become separated, so don’t rely on the cover letter alone to tell a recruiter or hiring manager that you have essential skills they want.
Certain pieces of information belong only in a cover letter, not in a resume. For example, the cover letter is the place for information about your availability for all shifts or your flexibility regarding travel or relocation.
Make sure your contact information is identical on your cover letter and resume. If you are considering a job in another state, you may want to rent a postal box in that state to give yourself a local address. Your contact information includes:
- A phone number that is answered professionally—if your children always answer your home phone, purchase a pay-as-you-go cell phone that you can use for the length of your search.
- A professional email address based on your full name (email@example.com). Opening a new free email address at yahoo or gmail is easy and few employers will bother to contact a candidate at “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Double and triple check the address you are mailing to: on the cover letter, you don’t want to misspell the name of the recipient or their company or division.
Finally, the cover letter or email is a great place for a statement of what you hope to contribute to the company, whether increased sales, greater team work, improved communications or whatever your expertise qualifies you for.
Having trouble fitting all that in three or four short paragraphs? Email me today and I’ll give you a cover letter and resume that show off your value.