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Why a Free Cover Letter Isn’t Worth the Risk
One of the most elementary mistakes a job seeker can make is to use a free cover letter when applying for a job. You know what is meant by that – one of those many hundreds or thousands of examples that are available for download on the Web. They seem to hold so much promise because they are a quick and easy solution to an often painful problem, but the truth is that they can simply create an insurmountable obstruction for you should you choose to use them. In any case, why would you choose to attach a randomly chosen, generic cover letter to the resume that you have invested so much time in creating? Can that really make any sense at all?
Many job seekers tend to overlook the fact that a resume and a cover letter are all part of one greater whole, and that whole is the very thing that will determine whether or not you are worth offering a job to. You may think that your cover letter is unimportant, but if you are to be a genuinely effective job applicant, you have to rid yourself of that sort of thinking immediately. Your cover letter and your resume complement each other in amazing ways if they are both put together with the same sort of originality and energy, but just as easily, they can let each other down if one isn't upholding its part of the bargain.
Write a Free Cover Letter for Yourself
None of this should come as news however, since they are sent at the same time. Since the very purpose of the cover letter is to introduce the reader to the candidate described in the resume, it must be pretty obvious that the two documents must know a thing or two about each other. In other words, the cover letter must prÈcis the resume in very specific details. Since there is no way that a free cover letter can include those details without some serious embellishment, using one defeats the very objective of the exercise. Moreover, it will be plainly obvious to any HR manager with five minutes of experience that you haven't taken the time or put in the effort to think this process through.
You have to consider that every aspect of your application is equally as important as every other. You probably already know that when you turn up for an interview you should be appropriately dressed if you are to make the right impression. You also know that a courteous and correct code of behavior is imperative at the interview time. If you know all of this and still send your resume into the HR manager's in-tray, badly dressed in an ill-fitting costume and with no social graces whatsoever, you are doing that important document a severe disservice. Just as you would expect to be bounced out of the interview session for violating any of those basic aspects of expected behavior, you can expect your resume to meet the wastebasket with record speed without a carefully crafted cover letter.
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