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Do You Need a Cover Letter?

Now that your formal resume’ is complete, there are a couple more elements to the resume’ package that you will need. The first is a cover.

You may be asking if a cover letter is necessary when submitting your resume online or by “snail mail”. Yes and yes! This is your opportunity for a pre-emptive strike, your chance to state right up-front “what makes you right for the job”.

Your cover letter must do four things. It must:  spark the interest of the reviewer, get them to look (or look more closely) at your resume, briefly identify your interests, and succinctly summarize your qualifications for the job you desire. That’s a lot. And that’s why the cover letter is so critically important.

In terms of format, err to the side of formality when it comes to salutations and closings. You may know that Mary Jones is the hiring manager but she’s Ms. Jones to you until you’ve been given permission to be less formal. Your signoff should be equally professional.

How long should a cover letter be? Not long, but not too short, either. In 3-4 succinct  paragraphs, you must identify the position you are applying for and state your sincere interest … state what makes you the right candidate for the job … express your gratitude  for being considered … and provide your contact information and planned follow-up step (such as, I will follow-up with a phone call by such-and-such date).

One final note …

In today’s tech-reliant times when resume’s are zapped around the world via the internet, the good ol’ fashioned cover letter is still necessary. No matter how you deliver your resume’ – online or via “snail mail” – craft a cover letter.

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