Cover Letters – Do I Need One?

interview questions

You may be wondering if you need a cover letter to compliment your resume when applying for jobs. Are you asking yourself “What difference will it make or can it make?” Let’s discuss when you should send a cover letter and why.

Essentially we should be sending a cover letter along with our resumes to hiring managers unless they specifically say otherwise. Here are the two main reasons:

  1. You can speak directly to your specific qualifications and why these make you the best candidate for the job. Your cover letter allows you to tell employers “who you are” and align your experience and career with their business needs.
  2. The cover letter is used to send a targeted message specific to each job/career for which you are applying.

It is possible to find numerous examples of how to write a cover letter and what the best formatting options are. However, when you work with our professional resume writers you will get the benefit of experience, past client feedback, and current formatting to optimize the ROI. In addition, it can be a struggle to capture who you are on paper. This is why it helps to have a professional writer head the effort.

The window of opportunity to make a strong first impression can be a narrow one. This is especially true when the job market is flooded. The higher the volume of job seekers the more challenging it is to grab the attention of hiring managers. Once you have their attention your cover letter needs to be strong enough to hold it.

Knowing what to put in your cover letter is important, however, knowing what not to add is just as important. In a blog written by Joe Matar titled, 6 Things Your Cover Letter Should Never Say (But Probably Does)

The author talks about the need for your cover letter to be concise. The cover letter is your opportunity to fashion a direct message to the company. Joe Matar explains that saying “a skills and experience section” will not have as much impact compared to telling the story of your career and the value you bring. The same goes for this statement: “I want to work in this industry”. It does not show the employer your passion for their particular company. You want the hiring manager to know you are ready to invest yourself into the very specific needs of their business. Read more of what Joe Matar has to say on this here.

It is also important that you choose the appropriate letter type as well. For example your letter will read differently if you are applying for a specific job posting or you are simply inquiring about job opportunities within that particular company. Hiring managers should not be left guessing about your goals via the cover letter.

Before you start applying for jobs, be sure to invest time in creating a professional cover letter. Make the cover letter concise and direct. This document is an invaluable tool in ushering you through to the interview process in your job search. Use this opportunity to show future employers who you are, and why they need you on their team.


Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Is a Professional Resume Worth It?  Economics of a Job Search

Job Search Economics

Is a Professional Resume Worth It?  Economics of a Job Search

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation involving the time and resources it takes to search for a job and whether the cost of a professional resume is worth the investment.

There are many factors that can influence the time it takes to find a job.  These factors include the industry you are in, the demand for the position you are applying for, your qualifications and experience, your resume, and your interviewing skills, to name a few.

But let’s assume for the sake of this blog that at a minimum it will take you 6 weeks from day one until you are offered a position.  A month and a half to find a job.  For a lot of people that is a long time to go without pulling in a paycheck.  If you are strapped for cash this could be detrimental to you and your family.  So, if you find yourself in this type of position is it worth coughing up the money to hire a professional resume writer or interview coach?  Let’s look at some numbers.

Salary: $90,000 annually

Weekly income ($90,000/52 weeks) $1,730

10 weeks without income = $17,300

Wow!  Not working for 10 weeks at a salary of $90,000 is $17,000 in lost income!  This doesn’t even include the loss of benefits, 401K contributions, vacation time, etc.  This is a big impact!

So, what can you do to minimize this loss?  Resume writing service fees are all over the board, and generally speaking, you get what you pay for.  Let’s assume for the sake of this blog you hire a certified professional resume writer to complete your resume, cover letter, and update your LinkedIn profile for a fee of $500.

For $500 you are now armed with professionally created personal marketing tools that are optimized to get you through ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) and garner the appeal of recruiters on LinkedIn, etc. that are now fighting to get you a job.  You have a professional presence and will now have a greater chance of getting callbacks and interviews.  Let’s say you nail a job interview and land a job.  By working with a professional, you’ve shortened your job search time by 2 weeks.  Let’s do some more math.

Weekly income ($90,000/52 weeks) $1,730

8 weeks without income = $13,840

Cost of resume service = $500

Total income loss and out of pocket cost for resume services = $14,340

Amount you now earn by being hired in 8 weeks compared to 10 = $2,960

As we’ve demonstrated in this example if you invest $500 to hire a professional resume writer, which results in being hired 2 weeks sooner than average, you earn $2,960 compared to losing out on the opportunity.  This is beyond a 500% return on your investment!  We like to think you are worth investing in.   And based on this example it is worth the investment to work with a certified professional resume writer whose mission is to get you results.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

How to Email a Resume and Cover Letter Attachment

Emailing your resume and cover letter
You have a fresh, well-written cover letter, your resume has never looked better and now it’s time to start sending them out so you can get a callback for an interview!  But how should you email the aforementioned documents?  This is a great how-to guide for those that may need a little help in that department.  
Original article click here.

How to Email Cover Letter and Resume Attachments

Depending on the job for which you’re applying, you may need to email your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. Networking contacts who are helping you job search may also ask you to email your application materials so they can review them and share your resume with prospective employers.

When you apply for jobs via email, the employer may require you to send your resume and cover letter as an attachment to an email message. It’s important to send your attachments correctly, to include all the information you need so your email message is read, and to let the receiver know how they can contact you to schedule an interview. Here’s how.

How to Save a Cover Letter and Resume

When you are sending cover letter and resume attachments, the first step is to save your resume as a PDF or a Word document. This way the receiver will get a copy of the resume in the original format. You can either save your cover letter in document format or write it directly in the email message.

If you have word processing software other than Microsoft Word save your resume as a Word (.doc or .docx) document. File, Save As, should be an option in your program.

Depending on your word processing software, you may be able to File, Print to PDF, to save your documents as a PDF. If not, there are free programs you can useto convert a file to a PDF.

A PDF file retains the format of your resume and letter, so the recipient will see them as you wrote them when they open the file(s) you send.

Use your name as the file name, so the employer knows whose resume and cover letter it is i.e. janedoeresume.doc and janedoecoverletter.doc.

How to Include a Subject Line in an Email Message

The subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to apply for jobs. If you don’t include one, your message may not even get opened.

Your email message must include a subject line, and it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for. Be specific, so the recipient knows what he or she is receiving. Employers often hire for many positions at the same time, so include both your name and the job title.

Add a subject to the email message before you start writing it. That way, you won’t forget to include it afterwards.

Here’s what to write:

Subject: Your Name – Job Title

How to Write an Email Message to Send With Your Cover Letter and Resume

Once you have saved your resume and cover letter and they are ready to send, the next step is to write an email message to send with your documents.

First, open your email account. Then click on Message at the top left of the screen or click on File, New, Message.

You can either type your cover letter directly into the email message, copy and paste from a word processing document, or, if the company requests an attachment, send your cover letter and resume with the email message. So, your choices are to send a cover letter attachment or to use the email message as your cover letter.

If you are attaching a cover letter, your email message can be brief. Simply state that your resume and cover letter are attached. Offer to provide additional information and let the reader know how you can be contacted.

If you’re writing an email cover letter, review these formatting tips before you send it.

Also, be sure to follow the directions in the job posting for how to apply when sending your cover letter and resume or your application may not be considered.

 

Add a Signature to an Email Message

It is important to include an email signature with all your contact information, so it’s easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in touch with you. Include your full name, your email address, and your phone number in your email signature, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, how to contact you.

If you have a LinkedIn profile, include it in your signature. Do the same with any other social media accounts you use for career and business purposes.

To add your signature to your email message, click on File, Insert, Signature if you have a signature saved that you use for job searching. If you haven’t created an email signature, type your contact information (name, email address, phone, LinkedIn) at the bottom of your message.

 

How to Attach a Resume and Cover Letter to an Email Message

Once your email message is ready to send, you need to attach your resume and cover letter to your message. Click on Insert, Attach File. Your email client will display a list of files in the default file folder of your computer.

If your resume and cover letter are stored in a different folder, click on the appropriate folder.

Click to select the file you want to add to your email message, and then click on Insert to attach the document to your email message. Take the time to carefully proofread the message before you send it.

Before you click Send, send the message to yourself to be sure all the attachments come through and your email message is perfect.

Send a copy of the message to yourself, as well as to the company, so you have a copy for your records. Add yourself as a Bcc (blind carbon copy) by clicking Bcc… and adding your email address.

Then click Send, and your cover letter and your resume will be on its way to the employer.

We hope you find this article helpful and we would always like to hear your comments and questions.  Power Writers USA is here to help you with all your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and more.  Please feel to contact us.

Should you always send a cover letter?

Resume

When it comes to preparing and applying for new jobs everyone has different needs.  You may have a warm introduction for a potential new employment opportunity where a resume is merely a formality or you may be sending resumes to companies you’ve had no prior contact with.  This article from Monster.com will help you to decide whether or not it’s appropriate to send a cover letter along with your resume.

Original article click here.

Do you always have to submit a cover letter, or can you skip it? We checked in with a panel of career experts to find out.

You found an exciting new job posting and are getting ready to submit your resume, but what about a cover letter? Is it always necessary to spend time writing a cover letter, or are there times you can get away without one? We checked in with a panel of career experts to find out.

Pro: A Cover Letter Can Set You Apart

“Skip the cover letter, and you miss out on an opportunity to sell yourself,” says Evelyn Salvador, author of Step-by-Step Cover Letters: Build a Cover Letter in 10 Easy Steps Using Personal Branding and principal of Creative Image Builders, a resume-development and career-coaching firm in Coram, New York.

Sending a cover letter along with a resume helps job seekers build their brand, the same way an advertising company promotes a product’s brand. “A well-defined brand wins interviews, maximizes salary potential and puts job seekers in the top 2 percent of candidates considered for positions,” Salvador says.

Think of your cover letter as another tool in your job search arsenal, says Betty Corrado, owner of career-coaching and resume-writing firm Career Authenticity in Cos Cob, Connecticut. “The cover letter is a key part of your marketing package,” she says. “Use it as an opportunity to convey your brand and value proposition.”

Pro: Cover Letters Let You Reveal Your Personality and Build Rapport

A resume tends to be fact-based and somewhat formal, but a cover letter can be infused with personality. “Don’t be afraid to inject personal notes about interests or philosophies that may help employers determine if you will fit into their culture,” says Roleta Fowler Vasquez, professional resume writer and owner of Wordbusters in Fillmore, California. To increase the “wow” factor of their cover letters, she encourages applicants to add a few standout accomplishments that don’t appear on the resume.

Laila Atallah, a Seattle career counselor and owner of Career Counseling with a Twist, agrees that a cover letter can be more revealing than a resume. “The best cover letters are infused with energy, personality and details about the applicant’s skills and achievements,” she says. “I get a sense of the person and what they’ve accomplished, and it’s easier for me to picture them in their next job.”

Job seekers often make the mistake of sending a resume without a cover letter, says Ann Baehr, president of Best Resumes of New York in East Islip, New York. “This is a missed opportunity to establish rapport with employers and provide a sense of who they are beyond their work experience,” she says.

Thinking about skipping the cover letter when applying for an internal position? Don’t. Use the cover letter to show how well you understand your employer’s mission and remind management of how much you have already accomplished. Include a cover letter even if a colleague is submitting your resume for you. The letter is a chance to introduce yourself and mention your contact as a reminder that you are a referral. This is what a cover letter should include, should you decide to send one.

Pro: A Cover Letter Lets You Tell a Story

The cover letter can include information that would be out of place on the resume. “Job seekers can include the name of a mutual contact or referral, state how they would benefit the employer if hired and explain tricky situations such as changing careers, relocating, returning to the workforce and so on,” Baehr says.

Atallah encourages job seekers to learn about the requirements of the job opening and use the cover letter to express how and why they are uniquely qualified. “Use your cover letter to tell a story,” she says. “Studies show that stories are memorable and engaging, and cover letters are a perfect vehicle for expressing your successes in a more storylike format.”

When Not to Send a Cover Letter

Given all the reasons to send a cover letter, is it ever a good idea not to? “If the application instructions expressly say not to include a cover letter, or if an online application offers no opportunity, then you can forego the cover letter in these cases,” Atallah says.

Vasquez agrees that you should not send a cover letter when the employer specifically says not to. “This may be a test of your ability to follow directions,” she says.

What if you think the cover letter won’t be read? Corrado says that while some hiring managers say they don’t read cover letters, those who do may dismiss your application if you don’t send one. “Why take this chance when you need every possible advantage in this job market?” she asks.

While writing cover letters is time-consuming, the consensus is that the effort could give you an edge and help you land more interviews.

Article written by: Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

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Everybody has different needs when it comes to their resumes, cover letters, CV’s etc.  Power Writers USA is here to help answer any questions you may have about your resume or having your resume crafted by a Certified Professional Resume Writer.