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How Writing a Cover Letter Gets You Hired
Writing a cover letter is important because applying for a job today involves a lot more than simply sending in your resume and waiting to be called in for an interview. Or at least it does if you are serious about landing that job. The truth is that there are so many applicants for any position these days that HR departments find themselves sifting through piles and piles of resumes, which could take them months to go through in depth. So it is then, that the first thing they do is create a shortlist, discarding the overwhelming majority of the applicants in favor of a select few. The secret is that the select few that can look forward to a phone call are those that have invested time in writing a cover letter. That may sound unfair, but if you take the time to think about it, you can really make this skill work to your advantage.
Not just any cover letter will do however. These powerful documents may seem like a secondary item to your all-important resume, but the truth is that it is often the other way around. In other words, your resume is only considered once the shortlist has been compiled, but it is the cover letter itself that either enables you to get onto that shortlist, or keeps you from ever doing so. Therefore, writing a cover letter isn't in and of itself enough. You have to put real thought into the information you will include in that because it is the cover letter alone that the interviewer will consider when sorting the wheat from the chaff.
All of this makes sense when you think of it. Today, communication skills are vital in any position, though they may not be specifically stated on the list of an employer's requirements. By writing a cover letter than makes for simple and interesting reading, you are able to highlight items on your resume – or other information about yourself that may not be suitable for your resume – in a brief and succinct manner, which the interviewer can digest quickly. In so doing, you are giving them a clear indication of whether it is worth further investigating your suitability to their requirements. Added to that, you are stating that you are a good communicator without actually listing it on your resume.
With the right mindset, you will find that writing a cover letter is a fun and creative way to describe yourself, your skills and your personality in a few words. When it comes down to it, it is exactly like making a phone call or passing along some salient information in a brief personal encounter. In both cases, you are going to want to get across and to make yourself sound as intelligent and interesting as you are capable of sounding.Take the time to think about what you would say to ensure that your point gets across even if you only had a minute to make your case. Because that is what writing a cover letter is all about – initiating a dialogue that hopefully will last for years.
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