What is a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a brief document that is sent to an employer along with one’s resume. When it comes to job hunting, it has become an absolute necessity. Not sending a cover letter along with one’s resume is considered as a sign of laziness. Therefore, knowing what a good cover letter comprises of may serve to be of extreme use to job hunters.

A cover letter maybe a separate letter typed on a paper and sent along with a resume. In an email, it may be a separate attachment or it may also be typed on the email body itself. A cover letter essentially introduces a candidate to an employer. It allows the individual to market oneself, his or her skills, expertise, and experience to an employer thereby making an impression that the employer is most likely to remember. It covers in a nutshell what one’s resume cannot express. While providing parallels between one’s credentials and the requirements of the job role, a cover letter may also provide as a backdrop in which one’s resume is examined at length.

Types of Cover Letters

There are three types of cover letters in the world today.

i) Application Letter – This letter accompanies a resume in response to a job opening that has been advertised.
ii) Prospective Letter – This letter inquires about possible opening in a specific company.
iii) Networking Letter – This letter seeks out assistance in one’s job search while requesting information at the same time.

A Good Cover Letter

A good cover letter also may show the employer that the candidate has done his research. This proves the enthusiasm of the individual to have taken some extra effort and delve into the background of the company, the nature of the job role, etc. It is important to show familiarity with the background of the company, as well as the challenges that it may face. A cover letter may also prove as a chance for a candidate to prove themselves worthy of the role.

A cover letter essentially complements a resume. It does not duplicate its content. The purpose of the cover letter is actually to interpret and give a personal touch to the more data-oriented resume. It must convince the employer of one’s interest in the position advertised and why the applicant is the best possible person for the job. For this, things that cannot be included in the resume can be added. This may be how one’s current / past job roles can be applied to the position that is being applied, experience in handling similar capacity and how the problem-solving skills used in previous job roles can be utilized in this.

However, a cover letter must be concise and compact enough to generate an interest in the resume. It must enhance and convey one’s personal value to the reader thereby convincing him or her of the applicant’s enthusiasm as well as assure the reader that the skills and expertise held by the applicant are in fact, ideal for the job role applied for. 


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