Cover Letters: Why They’re Useful and How to Read Between the Lines


Nice Article by Kelsey Jones – marketing consultant – MoxieDot

While there has been healthy debate as to whether or not cover letters are expected, they are still arguably a key piece of applying for a job since they allow applicants to introduce themselves and their accomplishments. They also give applicants the opportunity to highlight specific “wins” that are pertinent to the position, but which may not be visible on their resume.

A 2016 CareerBuilder survey found that only about 29 percent of employers require a cover letter. However, not having one could force hiring managers to rely solely on someone’s resume, which isn’t always the best indicator of the candidate’s personality, writing style, or goals in applying for the job.

Types of Cover Letters

First, it’s important to know the five different kinds of cover letters you may receive. The most common is the application letter, which accompanies a resume when a candidate applies for a specific position. A less common type is a referral letter: This is used when the candidate has been recommended for a role at the company. When a job searcher wants to find out about a possible job at a company, they write a letter of interest. Networking letters and value proposition letters are the two final types of cover letters job searchers may send.

In each of these kinds of letters, it’s important to keep an eye out for attention to detail and succinctness. The letters need to be personalized for the company and job posting, and should highlight the candidate’s accomplishments. However, since they are by far the most common, this article focuses on how to break down an application cover letter. Here are a few aspects of these cover letters that hiring and staffing managers should pay attention to when reviewing job candidates.

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