One of the most common questions asked of job search experts is, “Do I really need a cover letter?"
To set the record straight, yes, a cover letter is necessary. The cover letter influences the reader's first impression of you. It serves to sell you as a viable candidate or it knocks you out of the running.
Do you hate writing cover letters? Most people do.
However, employers expect to see a cover letter with your resume. They read your letter and form impressions of you as a candidate based on what they read. A bad cover letter (or a lack of one at all) can cause you to lose the chance to interview.
Do you feel like you’re wasting your time writing your cover letter? You’re probably doing it wrong. You’re not alone in your struggle, though. A while back, I had a client who was really struggling writing her cover letter for a company. No matter what she tried, she just couldn’t get something out on paper (sound familiar?). The funny thing is, both of us are writers, so you’d think it would be an easy thing to create. However, it was like pulling teeth trying to get this thing written. She was racking her brain for what to write, but she was completely uninspired. Related: Top 3 Ways To Waste Time On Your Job Search After about a half hour of back and forth, I had an idea. I think I figured out what was wrong. “Okay, let’s forget about this company for a second,” I told her. “If you could work for ANY company, whether it was hiring or not, which one would it be?” Literally three seconds later, she lit up and started raving about this one publishing company that she absolutely adored. She told me what it did, why it was a great fit for her, and why she would excel there. “You realize you just told me what your cover letter is going to say, right?” I said to her. After that, she was able to bust out a rockin’ cover letter. But the problem she had with her first cover letter was clear: she was trying to write about a company she didn’t love.