Not everyone reads them.
When a child receives a birthday present they attack the wrapping paper with excitement. The accompanying card and thoughtful message cannot compete with the mystery package in colorful wrapping. When we encourage them to read the card, they quickly scan the content.
In many ways, birthday cards are similar to cover letters. At best the content will be quickly reviewed and only if the resume has grabbed the attention of the recipient. Ironically, countless human resources professionals and recruiters require a cover letter from job seekers.
If cover letters are rarely opened and seldom read, why should job seekers include a cover
letter with their submission?
Cover letters provide you with the additional real estate to leverage keywords and highlight your accomplishments. Keywords relevant to the job posting will be recognized by a software program that reviews your resume; thereby, increasing your chances of being noticed. Cover letters demonstrate your excitement for the position. Failing to submit a cover letter tailored to the position signals a lack of effort and interest in the opportunity.
Many recruiters perceive resumes without cover letters to be a form of spam. A properly written cover letter will reinforce your personal brand or subject matter expertise. While very few recruiters will read the document, the process of writing a cover letter will help you to develop language and statements that reinforce your brand.
In addition, this process forces you to pay special attention to the details of a job posting,
which will help you to prepare for an interview. The key to writing an effective cover letter is to connect the accomplishments and skills highlighted on your resume with the requirements of the position. How? Review each of your accomplishments and ask yourself how this achievement will coincide with the requested skills and experience outlined in the employer’s posting.
For instance, if your resume highlights a project or a task that was completed ahead of
schedule, your cover letter should reference your track record in developing efficient
business processes and procedures. The process of reviewing past accomplishments and identifying their future value is critical to career advancement. Writing tailored cover letters will increase your callback ratio and enhance your performance during interviews. Even if nobody reads it!