Is A Cover Letter Necessary?

Every once in a while I hear this question and I always shake my head at it, not in agreement, but at the sheer disappointment that people would ever think it’s not necessary. Ok, so yea minimum wage jobs like cashiers at Subway or something might not need it. But once you’re going after internships, co-ops, or jobs that you are probably expected to wear a suit to the interview…WRITE A COVER LETTER.

People like to say, “in this digital age, cover letters are unnecessary. They get skimmed over and then tossed aside, if they get look at at all.” My question is this…why chance it? Why chance an employer going, “Ok these two individuals are both equally experienced and qualified…but this one wrote me a nice cover letter and made the effort. I bet he’s got a better work ethic. I’ll hire him.”

Not saying that’s how it goes down, but would you be surprised? Recruiters and those in Human Resources look for the tiniest hints into your character and abilities to determine whether to hire you over your competition. A well written cover letter is your first step to making a good impression.

And don’t just throw it together either. Put some effort into it. Your cover letter should be one full page, crammed full of great information about who you are, what you bring to the company, and why you would be a perfect fit within the company. Relate your personality and work ethic to the companies values and culture. If they’re a laid back company filled with creative individuals, you better explain to them in your cover letter how you fit into it!

If they make a point on their website to say how they think community involvment is critical, you should be saying how you’re involved in the community. And if you’re not maybe that company isn’t for you in the first place. But if you’re determined, write how you go to the homeless shelters to help out, and then after you send it go down to the homeless shelter.

Relate how their core values align with your own. Express why you’re not just a good candidate, you’re the right candidate. If you’re inexperienced, you need to be able to tell them in a clear and concise fashion why that won’t hinder your ability to get the job done. You do that by selling them on your character and who you are. Get your foot in the door with a great cover letter & resume. Then at the interview you’ll be able to explain to them exactly why you’re the right person for the job.

Over time I’ll post actual tips for writing cover letters and all that. But for now, just know that it’s necessary and worth doing. At the very worst you waste an hour. At the best, you get a job you might not have had you not written the cover letter. So write it. And write it well.

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About Jason Willis
Jason graduated from the University of Central Florida in the fall of 2011 with a B.S.B.A. in Finance. He currently works at The Newport Group as an Investment Analyst on the Asset & Liability Management Team working with Non Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans. In his spare time he continues to give back to AKPsi by assisting with the CFAC and NX Chapter at UCF. He also currently operates his own blog entitled Professional Hedging, and is also preparing to acquire his Series 7 and 66 Certifications.

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