You've expanded your job search efforts and found your dream role - now it's time to get noticed.
The purpose of the resume cover letter is to first Connect with your hiring manager. By addressing the hiring manager in writing with warmth and professionalism, you are making a personal connection. In highlighting your skills and achievements, you are revealing enough information to gain their interest so that they will continue on to read your CV.
A cover letter should also form a bridge – a connection – between the job advertisement and your CV. It should reflect the specific job requirements that have been identified in the advertisements and why your skill set and work history is a good match for the role.
Another purpose of the resume cover letter is to Convince the hiring manager that your CV is worth reading. A resume cover letter should explain why you will add value to their business. This is different to explaining why you are a good match for the role; a convincing cover letter should explain what difference you can make to their business, team and goals.
Remember, hiring managers will sometimes be reading dozens, or hundreds of applications. They will likely look to short-cut the process where they can, and read the cover letters only before making a decision as to whether they should spend more time reading the CVs. In reading the cover letter, the hiring manager should be left with no doubt as to whether they should invest more time reading about you.
A cover letter may seem old-fashioned, but such Courtesies are highly valued in the professional world. After all, the hiring manager has taken the time to open and read your cover letter, and will hopefully invest more time in reading your CV and inviting you in for the interview. A professional cover letter will thank the reader for their time in reading your CV and considering you for the role.
A well-crafted cover letter is an essential part of the job interview process. A good resume cover letter should be personalised, carefully considered and convincing. If you invest the time to craft a cover letter, you will be on your way to securing the job of your dreams.
Take a look at our cover letter tips page for more cover letter writing tips and examples.