I just read an interesting, fairly short, article about the purpose of a cover letter on TechReplublic.
Toni Bowers in her TechRepublic article does emphasise the need for a cover letter, despite some naysayers, she suggests that it should “put your experience into a perspective for the job being filled”.
I whole heartedly agree … but I think I might even emphasise the importance of the cover letter more than Toni.
To me, like the submission email, a cover letter is a “selling document“. (a) It tells the reader exactly why you are the right person for the job; and (b) It makes it EASY for the reader to understand why! Like ANY good selling document it takes all of the relevant information and presents it in a format that is designed to suit the reader.
What do I mean by that? If you are an experienced consultant in the IT space it is likely your resume is quite long, listing many different projects and roles over a number of years. To read through that chronologically will take a while … AND it is easy to miss some of the nuances. The cover letter (submission email) takes exactly what the reader is looking for and matches it to the resume … presenting itself in a way that is compelling! The resume then just becomes a supporting document!
A former sales manager of mine once told me that you MUST make it easy for the buyer to buy! Do as much of their work for them as possible … and you have done your job! THAT is what a cover letter should do!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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