True or false: you rolled your eyes at the thought of writing a cover letter, or perhaps let out an audible sigh?
Cover letters are one of the biggest sources of frustration my clients have - before they start working with me. I empathize with them and acknowledge that this isn't a fun activity, but after we cover what they're really all about, along with some strategies to figuring out what employers want to read, it's much less painful of a process.
So, what's the biggest advantage writing a letter will give you?
The space to show your knowledge of and passion for the organization.
Maybe, but OVER 80% of my clients don’t address this at all in their letters. The most interesting part is that they often think they do. When applying to mission-driven organizations, it's even more critical.
For example: One client was applying for a competitive role without much full-time experience. The global health organization described itself as "relentlessly committed to improving the health of poor and marginalized people." She highlighted founding a national HIV/AIDS awareness group as well as her four health-focused internships abroad. She also spoke to her commitment to the mission and the passion she'd bring to the role and ended up landing it. If the employer was just using her resume, she wouldn’t have looked as qualified.
One other advantage...
It's extremely hard for your personality to shine on your resume, but you can begin to show it in your cover letter.
With so many places hiring based not only the skills you have, but also your fit with the office culture, this is a big chance to shed some light on that side of yourself and demonstrate how it aligns.
It includes tips on how to figure out what you can just rely on your resume for, examples of when you don't need to write one, how to get past writer's block, and more. Enjoy!