During the radio show I was on a while ago, we took a call from a hiring manager who told me that because she is hiring for an entry level teaching position all the resumes are just about the same. It's a level playing field until a cover letter comes into play and the cover letter is what determines who gets the interview.
Another recruiter told me that he gives bonus points to candidates who provide side-by-side bulleted lists in their cover letter. One column for the job requirements and a second column for the candidate's qualifications. He said that in many cases hiring guidelines stipulate that he can only interview candidates who are a strong match for position, so the applicant who does his work for him and shows him they are qualified is a step ahead of the others.
So, don't believe it if anyone tells you cover letters went out of style when people stopped mailing paper resumes. They didn't.
When you apply for a job the cover letter you write is just as important as your resume. The candidates who get the interviews write compelling cover letters that sell themselves to the hiring manager even though it's a lot of work and there's no guarantee it will pay off for any specific position.
If you're not sure what to include in a cover letter or how to show you're a perfect match for the job, here are cover letters examples, both written and email, including cold contact cover letters, referral cover letters, customized cover letters, job promotion cover letters, networking letters, and letters to inquire about unadvertised openings.
What Do You Think? Do you need a cover letter? Poll: Do You Need a Cover Letter
Image Copyright Alison Doyle