Cover Letter Essentials 2020 (Updated)
A cover letter is an essential part of the resume package—unless you have already made more than an initial contact with an employer, been offered the job, etc. A resume without a cover letter can leave the reader wondering why it is there. A cover letter is a letter of introduction which:
- States the reason why you are sending the resume.
- Requests further contact—an interview.
But a good cover does more. It focuses on the employer ’s needs. If responding to an advertisement that hopefully states their requirements, address them specifically. If you are dealing with a medium to large company that can be researched, do so. Find out the history of the company, it’s mission statement, the future of the company, it’s earnings, etc. Find out specific problems the company has and how you can be the solution for that problem. What gaps are not being filled in the company? If you do this research, you will be far ahead of your competition because most people don’t bother. Visit our website to understand Cover Letter Essentials 2020 (Updated) to improve your chances of getting that dream job that you have.
Address this in the cover letter, but just whet their appetite—pique their interest. Make them want to learn more. Save the rest for the interview.
The middle part of the cover letter is also a place to further sell yourself. Don’t just repeat what you have in your resume—add more. You may want to be more personal in the cover letter. Let it be a reflection of you. Things not to include in the resume or cover letter:
- Illegal topics such as age, race, religion, marital status, etc.
- Skills or traits you don’t have or are weak in. This is a marketing document so keep negatives out of it. Concentrate on what you do have.
- Issues such as being fired, being an ex-convict, a spotty job history, job-hopping, etc.
As stated above, concentrate on what you DO have. Use judgment and common sense in all things. Each situation is different and you must make the best decision in each. There are many times no hard and fast rules.
How long to make a cover letter? Almost always one page. Whet their appetite, but don’t bore them.
How long to make a resume? There is no 1-page rule anymore. resumes are often 2 pages and less often 3 or more. [A CV is a whole different matter. If you are doing a CV, much of what is stated about resumes does not apply.]
Longer resumes are usually for those with many years of experience and those at more of an executive level. The resume needs to include all information that will sell you and that the employer needs to know about to make the best hiring decision, but no more. So if it takes 2-3 pages, so be it.
Keep your resume up-to-date at all times! Change it as often as you need to keep it targeted. A resume and cover letter need to be changed as often as is necessary. A resume should include all up-to-date information at all times. You never know when a new opportunity will come along.
An excellent resume is very targeted toward a specific field and job level. If that changes, then your resume needs to be changed. A targeted resume will sell you far better than a general one or one addressed to more than one job title or field. A cover letter needs to be targeting toward each specific job applied for to be successful. So it needs to be changed every time it is sent out. After all, if you are following the guidelines for a good cover letter, you are researching each company and its needs and addressing them in each cover letter. This is flattering to a company. They don’t want to be one of a large general mailing campaign someone has put together. And they want their particular needs addressed.
What should a resume include? Well that depends on the person and the field. Every topic that should be addressed should be included. For some that would be technical skills, computer skills, knowledge of a certain area, education, training, licenses, etc. Include everything that needs to be included. I don’t recommend clients or potential clients look at samples. Each person’s resume is so individual, even those in the same field, that it is a disservice to try to make yours look like anyone else’s.
If you must, check out JIST’s web site, www.jist.com or their career books at your local bookstore. The best books are written by resume writers from the National Association of resume Writers (NRWA), the Professional Resume Writers & Research Association (PRWRA), or the Professional Association of resume Writers (PARW). But please, don’t try to copy anyone else’s materials. You will not be doing yourself justice. By visiting our website, you will understand the main cover letter essentials 2020 (Updated) and hence secure your dream job.
Because your resume materials are so valuable to your career and lifestyle, I truly believe it is important enough to hire a professional resume writer. A professional resume writer is an expert in this field and knows how to market you to your fullest. They are experts at what needs to be included, how to write most effectively, how to format your resume (there are often considerations that many people aren’t knowledgeable about (scannable, ASCII, and Internet resumes), what options are available, etc.