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Do You Still Need to Send a Cover Letter When You Apply For a Job?

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Today's article focusses on cover letters and you're about to:

1. Learn whether you need to write a cover letter when you're applying for jobs online or directly with employers or recruiters.

2. Find out what happens if you don't send a cover letter when you're applying for a job.

3. Discover how you can create a cover letter that really stands out and makes an employer or recruiter want to interview you.

Do you think you need a cover letter?

But, will you miss out if you don't include a cover letter?

What happens if you don't send a cover letter?

Always include a cover letter with your CV

A cover letter really is vital these days, because employers and recruiters receive so many CVs, which means that a well-written cover letter / email will make you stand out.

Sending a cover letter shows you've thought about the job, and how you and your skillset could fit into the role and the company itself and how you could add value, which will make an employer / recruiter want to interview you.

It also says to the employer that I really want this job, as I've gone to the trouble of producing a cover letter or of course you may have paid someone else to produce it (but an employer won't be able to tell this, only you'll know).

Sometimes instead of an optional cover letter, some websites have an optional box that you can fill in - treat this as your cover letter.

When you're emailing your CV to an employer or recruitment consultant for an advertised job vacancy, then your email itself becomes the cover letter.

Never treat a cover letter as optional, always include one, otherwise you'll be missing out on a great opportunity to impress an employer, get ahead of your competitors and secure that vital job interview.

How can you create a cover letter that really stands out and makes an employer / recruiter want to interview you?

Here's Bradley CVs top 10 tips to create a great cover letter:

  1. A cover letter is your introduction to your CV, so you must clearly state how your skills and experience match an employer's requirements and why an employer should consider you for the job rather than all the other applicants.
  2. Keep the layout clear and simple, try and keep the paragraphs fairly short and in general keep your cover letter to just one page - remember they've got to read your CV too, so they won't want to read a long cover letter.
  3. When applying for an advertised vacancy, always read the job advert thoroughly several times and make a list of all the key skills and experience that are required by the employer, this should be your starting point.
  4. At the beginning of your cover letter summarise in just one paragraph the relevant experience, skills, aptitudes, strengths, etc, that you possess that an employer has asked for in the job advert.
  5. You then follow this with up with further paragraphs (or bullet points if you prefer) that show how you've added value at your previous employers and demonstrated the skills and experience required in the job advert.
  6. Your cover letter must sell you, but in a nice way, so focus on your relevant achievements / results and make the employer / recruiter feel that you've specially selected them and that you really want this job.
  7. Your last paragraph should sum up why you are the right person for the job, what value can you add and say specifically why you'd be better than all the other applicants and why you should be invited for the interview.
  8. If you email your CV directly to a recruitment consultant, keep your email to a few short paragraphs and sell yourself very quickly - you must make them want to open your CV, otherwise they'll just move onto the next email.
  9. When you're making a speculative approach to an employer (where you don't know if there's a vacancy), your cover letter needs to work even harder than normal, so state clearly what role/s you'd be interested in at the very start.
  10. Your cover letter must work in tandem with your CV, and must highlight the most relevant information on your CV, especially if there's something vital on page 2 or 3 that may easily be missed if you fail to mention it in your letter.

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