Sending a cover letter with a resume is a good idea for job seekers, even if an employer does not request it. A cover letter summarizes your skills and qualifications and persuades the reader to learn more. Creating your own cover letter is completely free. But it's important to create one that addresses the employer’s needs.
Tell the hiring manager which position interests you. Hiring managers might be filling several positions, so specifying the position of interest saves them time. You might say, for example, that you heard about the marketing associate position through a friend who works for the organization.
Talk about your background briefly. Review the job description. Make a list of skills, accomplishments or assets most important to the employer and address those items in the cover letter. For example, if the job description requires a candidate with proven sales ability, think about your experience in that area. Your persuasion skills might have closed a deal that secured a large contract for your company. Or, your ability to build strong client relationships might have swayed a customer to bring additional business to the company. Concrete examples entice the reader to review your resume.
Include all information the hiring manager requests. If he or she asks for your salary requirement, for example, mention it. Omitting that information could annoy the recruiter, landing your application materials at the bottom of the pile.
Write a call to action. The final paragraph of your cover letter should invite the hiring manger to request an interview. Briefly say why you think the opportunity is a good fit. Think about the employer’s needs, stay away from self-serving statements and include your next plan for action. Say you will follow up in a week to answer any questions about your application materials.
When answering the salary requirement question, consider including a salary range instead of an exact number to prevent you from being eliminated early in the process based on salary alone.
Update your resume. Avoid sending out generic resumes. Each resume should be tailored to the specific job posting. This will make your application materials stand out.