What is a cover letter for a job? That's a basic question we should understand the answer to before we go any further in exploring the job cover letter.
I don't want to insult anyone; if you already know what a cover letter is, then feel free to skip around to another page in our Resume Cover Letter Help Center.
Since you're here though, I have to assume you have some interest in finding out the answer to this question...
And even if you're just here because you wondered why the heck I would build a page like this, then first let me tell you... hundreds of people enter that search term in Google every month.
And since so many are looking for the answer to this question, then it seemed only reasonable to answer it here. Make sense?
For people who are looking for that kind of answer, then here's a definition for the question, "What is a cover letter?":
A cover letter for a job is a formal letter that accompanies your resume when it goes to a recruiter. It's another important tool in "selling" you, by highlighting your unique skills, talents and achievements and by filling in any gaps in information that a resume may not cover, such as why you had a lengthy period of unemployment between jobs.
Cover letters can be typed and printed to go with a printed paper resume. Or, a job cover letter might be contained on a fax, making it a fax cover letter. A cover letter can also be in email format, when you email a resume to a recruiter.
The important thing to realize is that it is an essential formal piece of writing that tells the recruiter – in a nutshell – why you should get a job interview!
It's crucial that you NOT look upon the task of writing this resume cover letter as a mere formality. If you send a cover letter that says little about you and what you have to offer the employer, guess where your resume is going to end up?
Yep, that's right... File 13, the circular file, the trash, or at best, at the bottom of the heap of hundreds of resumes sent in answer to the associated job ad.
So, when job seekers ask me, "What is a cover letter and why should I bother with it?", I tell them...
A job cover letter is THE make or break tool for getting you hired!
It's that simple...