Why you should always send a cover letter?

In the following text, we will do our best to bring you closer to the importance of the cover letter and to explain what it really is.

How many times have you applied for a job this week? How many times have you wondered if you should write a separate cover letter for each application?

How many times have you thought “Let me just change the name of the company and a few other little things on my cover letter, no one reads it for sure.”? But is that really so?

Experience says it is not.

writing cover letter - person using macbook - person typing - hands on laptop keyboard
A cover letter is more important then you think. | Source

In this text you will find answers to these questions:

  • What is a cover letter?
  • What it should look like?
  • Why is it important?
  • Should you always include it in the job application?
  • What are the common mistakes when writing a cover letter?
  • What is its main point?

What is a cover letter?

When you apply for a job, it is usually advisable to submit a cover letter in addition to your CV. Its purpose is to introduce you to a potential employer.

You want to showcase certain professional characteristics that may be useful to the employer. Simply, through it, you will let the employer know why you are the person for the job.

What does an example of a cover letter look like?

It should preferably be as short as possible (200-250 words), and its goal is to introduce the employer to your CV, to indicate the activities and characteristics that are of special importance for the application.

The simplest way of writing a cover letter is as follows:

  • Each one consists of three paragraphs.
  • It is desirable that these paragraphs are short and concise.
  • It should never exceed one A4 page.
  • The header says your name and contact information, and then to whom the letter is addressed (Dear Mr./Ms/Mrs. XXXX, or Dear Sir or Madam).
  • Include greeting at the end (Sincerely, or Regards).

In the first paragraph, you let the recipient of the letter know the REASON why you are applying and the source of information about the application for a certain job.

In the second paragraph, you will describe your profession and a list of your work experience, which can be extremely important in the context of a job application. Try to emphasize exactly what could be useful to a potential employer, and skip unnecessary things.

In the third paragraph, you will express your expectation that your job application will be considered and leave space to contact you if necessary, or if additional clarifications or documentation are needed.

If you send the application by post, print it out on white A4 paper, and put it in a white envelope. It is not recommended to print on paper other than white and to use colors other than black for letters when printing. Do your best to ensure quality printing too.

Why is a cover letter so important?

The importance of a cover letter is reflected primarily in the fact that this is the first thing an employer sees about you after a CV. It should represent your story, a resume of everything you are.

important - letters - yellow marker - black letters
Cover letter is a first impression the hiring manager has of you. | Source

It is a document of big importance because it accompanies every CV you send and is often a crucial factor when choosing the right candidate for a given position. Therefore, it necessary to pay a lot of attention to what you are writing. 

The role of cover letter is to supplement, interpret and describe information from the CV in more details. 

It is very important that it has your personal stamp since this is your first contact with a potential employer. It should explain the reasons why you are applying, but also show a high level of interest and knowledge.

Should you always send a cover letter?

As you may have already concluded based on everything you have read in the previous paragraphs, the cover letter is an integral part of the job application, which accompanies your CV.

As its name suggests, it is a document that “covers” everything you have written in your biography.

Although there are opinions on whether employers read them at all, the recommendation and the advice is to enclose them together with a CV.

Because, regardless of whether the potential employer will read your CV first, and then the cover letter or vice versa, or maybe they will not read it at all.

Employers expect it to be found together with your CV. They may read the letter before or after reading your CV. They may not read it at all, but, it should ALWAYS be included in your job application.

So, the answer to the question asked is YES!

Should you include a cover letter if it’s not required?

SEND a cover letter together with the CV, even if it is not explicitly stated that it is required. 

This letter aims to introduce the reader to your biography and refer to its important parts. It may also contain something that you could not put in the biography due to lack of space.

In the letter, clearly indicate which job you are applying for.

What are the most common mistakes when writing a cover letter?

Lack of dedication when sending a job application and negligence when writing a cover letter is a common mistake. 

If the job application requires something more from the candidate, for example, to write a text on a given topic, many people do not do it.

Many only apply automatically without even reading in detail what is needed for the application and following those instructions.

This is of course very bad for a potential candidate because most employers will automatically disqualify incomplete applications.

These clearly show that the candidate did not commit to reading the advertisement well and follow the application instructions. It shows the picture of an unqualified person for a certain job, although this may not be the case in reality

mistakes - man in white shirt - man wearing black glasses - man gasping - man covering his mouth with hand
Many make mistakes when writing a cover letter. | Source

Potential mistakes that you should pay attention to when writing a cover letter:

  1. You have spelling and grammar mistakes – This certainly seems unprofessional and won’t help you rank highly with your employer.
  2. You are applying after the deadline – With this, you already give the impression of a person who does not respect the set deadlines and does not respect the time of the employer.
  3. You think that the structure and appearance of the CV are not important – This does not have to be a decisive factor, but it certainly shows your effort and professionalism, and also allows the employer to first notice your essential qualities for the job.
  4. Relocation for work – If you live outside the place for which the competition was announced, emphasize that you are ready to relocate because otherwise, the employer gets the impression that you sent the application by mistake.

What is the main point of a cover letter?

The basic point of the cover letter is to fill in the gaps that have arisen when writing your resume, to enable your future employer to have an insight into your professional past or your business experience. 

It actually gives the impression that you are so interested in a particular application that you believe that the resume is not enough but needs to be further explained.

In it, you show that you want to use your talents, skills, and experience to bring value to the company you are applying to.

If it is well written, the manager will get the impression that he/she will use all your achievements for the future successes of the company.

So show your interest in a particular job, present yourself to the employer as an ideal candidate, emphasize how your qualifications certainly suit your future employer. Leave space for advancement and explanation of your qualifications.

To conclude 

This document is quite important for your presentation to a potential employer. Regardless of all the information in the resume, and the way it is presented, it is still just a set of more or less similar information that will not set you apart from other candidates.

That is why it should present you in the right way. It should point out and not just list the qualifications. It should explain in more detail what is only indicated in the biography.

All this, with only one goal – for a potential employer to schedule an oral interview for you.

A good cover letter is crucial for your business destiny!