Tristan talks about why you should write a cover letter, even if the job description says it’s optional. With the job market being as competitive as it is, why pass up an opportunity to showcase your skills, tell your story, and potentially help you stand out?
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Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. This week I want to talk about why you should write the cover letter, even if the job description says it’s optional.
Believe me, I know this isn’t what you want to hear. Most of us have heard that cover letters have fallen by the wayside, and so we don’t take the time to write them. I mean, why take the time to write it if they aren’t going to read it, or it’s the last thing they consider in a hiring process, right? Well, there are a few things that a cover letter can do that a resume simply cannot.
First, by taking the time to write a tailored cover letter, you show the reader that you actually care about this particular position. We know how being on the job market goes; it’s an endless cycle of applying to jobs, and some platforms, like LinkedIn, have made it easier than ever to submit your application. This leads to postings receiving a ton of applications from interested parties. So by taking the time out to craft a well written, customized cover letter, even when it’s optional, you can actually stand out from the other candidates who won’t take the time to do it.
Second, cover letters give you more of an opportunity to infuse some personality. Many of us view resumes as sterile documents, primarily since they are written in the first person with a missing pronoun. You can use I, me, and my in cover letters, which allows you to get a bit more personal, better tell your story, and showcase your experience. At the end of the day, people hire people that they like, and cover letters can be a great way to give them something to like.
Third, cover letters also provide the opportunity to address any questions your resume may bring up. There are quite a few things that you can more freely discuss in a cover letter that will provide the reader more insight into your situation, which could get you an interview instead of a rejection email. Things like career transitions, gaps in employment, unconventional career paths, and even the reason you’re applying from out of state. If you find yourself in any of those positions, you probably should consider explaining it in a cover letter to help your case.
Now, can you get a job without a cover letter? Absolutely. But with the job market being as competitive as it is, why pass up an opportunity to showcase your skills, tell your story, and potentially help you stand out?
Thanks for tapping in with me today! Don’t forget; I’m now taking submissions from you all on career questions, issues, concerns, or advice you think may help others! So make sure to submit yours at bit.ly/tapintristan.
This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.