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"Cover" your resume - September 25th, 2014

Cover letter with your resume?

ALWAYS!

Never send your resume without a cover letter. Never.

HERE ARE THE TOP TEN REASONS TO SEND A COVER LETTER WITH YOUR RESUME (and there’s no reason NOT to).

10.  Introduce yourself.  When you walk into a room, or a party, or whatever, don’t you first introduce yourself?  Same thing.

 9.   Explain why you’re writing and sending your resume.  Let the reader know – at the very start of the letter – that you’re referring to a job ad, a job posting, a mutual acquaintance, or a common experience (school or conference).  It’s a frame of reference.

8.   By keeping it short and to the point, you can get the reader’s attention.  This means no more than 100-120 words, something that can be read in about 15-20 seconds.  If you can make your point this quickly, chances are much better that they’ll read your resume!

7.      Make it personal.  You’re writing to a specific person. This way, you can customize it. You can’t do that with a resume.

6.   Show what you know.  Do some research on the company and show it off in the letter. It doesn’t need to be extensive, just relevant. You can’t do that in your resume, either, at least not as well as in your letter.

5.   Tell them what you can do for them.  Here’s where you can connect the dots between your skills and their needs. One good sentence might be all that’s necessary to do it, but here’s where you customize what you write.

4.   Show off your communication skills.  Short, compact sentences – with no wasted words or extra fluff– will demonstrate your communication skills. Even in the 15-20 seconds the reader will devote to your letter, you can make a big impression.

3.   Highlight pertinent accomplishments.  Not everything on your resume relates directly to the person reading it. However, some things on your resume are “spot on.”  Each cover letter lets you highlight what matters most to the person reading your resume.

2.   Ask for an interview.  At the end of your cover letter, ask for a meeting and state that you’ll be happy to follow up with a call. Action, action, action!!!

And the #1 reason: Mama brought you up right.  If nothing else, manners matter. A cover letter proves you have them.