Yay! You’ve found a job that you want to apply for. Now you have to write a cover letter.
Why write a cover letter?
Great question! The cover letter provides prospective employers with a brief intro to you. It’s your first chance to make a great first impression!
Cover letters serve a couple of purposes:
- You can introduce yourself
- You can mention the job you are applying for. What if an employer is hiring for multiple jobs? You want your application to be seen by the right people.
- You can show how your experience matches the job. For the last job we hired for, we received a lot of applications from people that appeared unqualified based on their resumes. Maybe if they had included a cover letter, they could have connected some of the dots so could see how they were actually qualified.
- Sets you apart from everyone else. Out of 50 applications we received for a job posting, we didn’t received a single cover letter. By including one, you really stand out from the pack.
You’ve convinced me, I’ll write one. Now what?
There are usually two ways you can apply for a job. Some jobs want you to fill out an online application and some want you to email them a copy of your resume. If you are filling out an online application, they may or may not want you to include a cover letter. The online application will let you know.
If you are sending an email, you’ll want to include a cover letter. There is a lot of debate over whether you should include the cover letter as an attachment, or as the body of the email. Every website you consult will tell you something different. It can be very frustrating!
So what should you do? You have two options. No one way is better than the other. You can…
- Include cover letter as attachment. In the body of the email write something like, “I’m applying for the nursing assistant position. M
- Copy and paste your cover letter into the email. Do not attach the letter.
Now that you’ve picked what you want to do with your cover letter, let’s get down to writing the letter.