Do Cover Letters Really Matter?
A lot of people ask me this. Frankly, I believe the answer is yes. Cover letters are important just for this simple consideration: how will it look if you don’t have one?
A cover letter is an opportunity to not only show you carefully read and followed the job posting’s instructions to submit a cover letter, but also to set you apart. What makes YOU uniquely qualified for the position? Also, a cover letter allows you to proactively address potential red flags or highlight positive attributes that might not be indicated in your resume (e.g., you’re planning to move to the new location anyway, so you won’t be negotiating for relocation costs).
A well-written cover letter can help you stand out because most cover letters are ineffective. Writing a cover letter, just like writing a resume or personal statement, is difficult. It is a specific genre of writing that is typically not taught in school. Also, I have not met anyone who has told me they relax by spending a Friday evening writing their cover letter.
Cover letters are documents of necessity that typically will not cross your mind until you need one. Because of this, you have an opportunity to boost the quality of your application by having a cover letter that communicates the value you bring to the employer.
Cover Letter Writing Process
When working on cover letters, I design a template for you and teach you how to tailor it to each particular job application. This process allows my clients to create a letter that is truly written for the particular job opening but saves valuable time because they aren’t starting from scratch for every application.
My background in education makes me well-prepared to teach you the method of what I did and why, just like I do when writing resumes. This way, you’re confident in each job application. Knowing that cover letters are read only about 50% of the time informs my approach.
Cover Letters for Higher Education
If you are an academic applying to a higher education leadership role, then you know that your letter will be longer than one page. When working with professionals applying for leadership roles in academia, I act as a partner in the writing and revising process. It is still laborious, but I’m there with you as we go back and forth using Track Changes and having discussions to perfect your letter.
Cover Letters Tailored to Individual Job Applications
At times, people ask me to tailor their letters for specific job applications. In these cases, I review the job description, have a conversation with you about your motivations and why you are a good fit for the employer’s needs, and then draft the letter. Afterward, we have a debriefing and strategy session to discuss and further improve the letter.
More often than not, I reserve this service for existing or former clients because I will already be familiar with their background. This allows me to work quickly to meet an (often) quickly approaching deadline.
Say Goodbye to Cover Letter Dread
I have probably said a thousand times that cover letters are the most annoying part of the job application process. But I love working on them! If you want to end your cover letter dread, please free to contact me for an initial consultation.
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