Your cover letter frames your resume and provides a context and a human voice that can help potential employers understand a little more about you. But as it happens, this simple document can actually do a lot more than just introduce your resume to hiring managers. In fact, if you make the right moves and invest fully in every detail of your letter, you can actually use this investment to launch your career in the right direction, make a change when you need to, or stay steady once you’ve placed yourself on a path to your goals. Here are five ways your cover letter you can alter or maintain the direction of your career.
1. Your letter tells employers how to interview you.
Your resume can provide a sort of road map for employers as they sit down with you, since it provides a list of claims and accomplishments and they can choose any one of these accomplishments and then ask for verification or more detail. But smart, experienced employers rely on a better road map: your cover letter. The letter addresses the rich tapestry of who you are, not just the dry fact sheet of what you’ve done. And wise employers will read for letter for clues and cues about the things that matter to you. So do these employers a favor: be clear about these cues and clues. Let your readers know exactly how to begin a conversation with you that will bring out your best side and give you chance to talk about the things that spark your passion.
2. Your letter tells employers exactly what you’re looking for.
You may be the smartest candidate in the pool. And you may be the hardest working person in the tri-state area. But if this job isn’t the job you’re looking for, and it can’t take your career where you want it to go, then you aren’t a match for these employers. Yes, you’re great at what you do, but your letter warns employers not to waste their time if their open position isn’t something you’re likely to accept.
3. Your letter stays on file and tells future managers how to coach you.
After you’re hired, your letter and resume will form the first documents in your personnel file. This file will be tucked away and probably not reviewed much outside of your annual performance reviews and promotions. But if your manager leaves the company and is replaced, your new boss will have access to this file, and will use it to understand who you are, what you need, and what kind of leadership style will work for you.
4. Your letter clarifies your personal brand.
Which do you value more, a positive attitude or a fierce desire to win at all costs? Which are you likely to invest in: a strong and lasting relationship with a vendor or a profitable short term contract? Do you have a passion for teamwork or a passion for leadership? Do you value rapid but unstable growth, or do you believe slow and steady wins the race? Your cover letter gives you a chance to highlight your personal brand and allows your employers to find a place for you within their existing teams.Wherever you’d like to take your career, a great cover letter and a little help from MyPerfectResume can get you there. Visit the website and take advantage of our job search tools today.