There are ongoing discussions among both job seekers and Hiring Managers alike, surrounding the importance of a cover letter. Since, I’ve been one of those people in the “rat race” of sending out massive amounts of cover letters and resumes, I saw fit to share some useful advice on why writing a compelling cover letter is still highly relevant and important in landing the job of your dreams in Los Angeles.
Where to Start
When starting your job search, it’s always a great idea to try to imagine yourself as the Hiring Manager for whatever opportunity you are pursuing and reflect on what message you would want a potential candidate to convey through his or her initial written communication to you. It is always crucial to fully understand what the Hiring Manager is seeking before diving into any application process. Once you have a clear grasp on what the initial requirements are for the role, you should then be able to articulate through written language; your enthusiasm and reasoning for your interest in the position, what you are able to contribute to the company, and any additional skills and personal characteristics which would make you an asset if hired. It can and will take you some time to construct your first cover letter; however, it will be a substantial investment into your future if done right.
The Importance of Customizing Each Cover Letter
It may seem easier to just construct one generic cover letter, summarizing your resume and qualifications and only changing the name of the company; however, that would more than likely result in a complete waste of time in your job search (think about how many other job seekers out there who are saying exactly the same thing). Anyone reading this article is either considering a move to LA or already here right? So, use that drive and ambition which already sets us apart from the rest, and take the time to ensure that you are communicating to each and every Hiring Manager on an individual basis, as though you were already in front of him/her for the interview. You don’t go into an interview and sound like a robot saying what you just said to Company A to Company B do you (at least I would hope not)? Assuming you want to stand out from the crowd and be the one who lands the job, your answer should be “no.” True, there are some portions of your cover letter which can be repeated across multiple submissions; however, always ensure that you are discussing experience from your background which is relevant to the experience being sought after in each job posting.
Tips on Constructing a Meaningful Cover Letter
A cover letter should always begin by showing your genuine interest in the specified position. You should continue by briefly commenting on at least one or two characteristics and skills you have and how you will be able to utilize those skills to enhance the company you are seeking to work for. Always communicate that you have an initial understanding of what the job requirements are, why you are interested in the position, and how your background aligns with that role. Expressing a genuine interest in the job through your cover letter and how your qualities, characteristics, and skills will make an impact on the position and the company as a whole, will always resonate with the Hiring Manager. Once you have your opening statement out of the way, take the time to review the listed requirements and insert how your background and previous/current duties have aligned with those requirements (this way the Hiring Manager can already imagine you completing certain tasks within the company). Be sure to always include your contact information (either in a header or in your signature field) and any attachments which may follow (i.e. your resume).
Hope this sheds some light on the mystery behind the necessity of cover letters. Now start writing and get noticed!