Cover letter: when is it really needed?

We often urge you to attach a cover letter to your job posting. But is it necessary in all cases? And what should those who have a low opinion of their literary abilities do in order to write a convincing and capacious text? We understand when you can add a few words about yourself, and when - it’s better not to.



When a cover letter is very desirable

Carrier start. You are not yet known as a professional, and you have so little to offer the employer. In such a situation, a letter may increase the chances of finding a job. Even if there are no great achievements or names of well-known companies in the resume, you can indicate interest in a specific professional field in a cover letter and briefly describe the educational achievements that characterize you in a positive way.

Young professionals can use a cover letter as an additional resource to convince a potential employer of an informed choice of position. The greatest risk of working with graduates is short-term cooperation and fears that a young specialist will decide to change his direction of activity. A cover letter will help draw attention to your candidacy, look more convincing in the eyes of the employer and, accordingly, minimize the risk of refusal.
Polina Brezhneva, expert at the Ready Resume service

Change of profession. A cover letter will be useful if you decide to change the scope of activity. This situation is similar to the beginning of a career, but with the difference that you are not quite a “clean sheet”, your experience in your previous profession may be useful in a new way. The main thing is to present it correctly. The summary will tell you about your previous career, and in the letter you can just explain the significance of this experience for a new field of activity. For example, attentiveness and accuracy when working with documents, the ability to quickly switch between several tasks, strong communication skills are appreciated regardless of the professional field.

Higher position. If you submit a resume to a higher position than you currently occupy, the accompanying text will be very important. It is worth talking about how you could expand your area of ​​responsibility, what managerial experience you already have and what tasks at your previous job can be evaluated from the point of view of your potential as a leader. Here the purpose of the cover letter is to convince the prospective employer that you have all the necessary qualities to move to a new level.

Creative professions. For applicants for creative professions, a free story about yourself and your portfolio is even more important than a resume. “The letter allows you to go beyond the accepted format for compiling a resume, to demonstrate your own style and creativity,” explains Polina Brezhneva, an expert at the Ready Resume service .

If a vacancy involves working with texts (journalist, PR manager, copywriter), a cover letter is a good opportunity to show your abilities.

Sometimes employers directly indicate that they are waiting for information about the candidate in free form. For example, Artemy Lebedev. He said that he does not even consider the vacancies in his studio in the form of a standard resume listing the previous places of work. A short story about yourself with links to specific examples of work and a well-executed test task is enough.

Top position. According to Polina Brezhneva, an expert at the Ready Resume service , the response to a vacancy from the senior management category traditionally involves a cover letter, this is a matter of course. The manager must be able to present himself. “Sometimes job seekers write top-level letters,” says Polina. “But in fact, a good manager’s letter should contain only constructive information: list the projects that he has completed and give as many indicators as possible, what has been achieved in these projects.”



When you can do without writing

For line positions in retail and operational specialists who do not work directly with customers, a cover letter is not necessary at all. For example, it is enough for the call center operator to send only a resume, without an additional story about himself.

Mass recruitment of employees does not involve evaluating candidates through cover letters. If a large trading network simultaneously employs 70 cashiers, then selection managers will first of all pay attention to suitable experience and the lack of comments from the security service. They will most likely not even have the physical ability to read cover letters. Therefore, an additional story about yourself when responding to such positions is not required.

Cover letter - a chance to attract attention

If your case is not one of those when a cover letter is very desirable, and not one where you can definitely do without it, then for you the cover letter is not that critically important, but it will definitely be a plus. It can highlight important accents that are not immediately apparent in the resume, but are important for deciding on the value of the candidate.

So, it will not be amiss to directly explain the scale of the company in which you worked, and specify specifically your area of ​​responsibility, make it clear the degree of your involvement and your preferences (which of the functions that you performed did you like most).

A case in point is an ordinary accountant. It seems that you can tell about all accounting experience and skills in a resume, the ability to present yourself creatively to an accountant is not required for work - so why does he need a cover letter? It is worth telling, for example, about:

  • The scale of the employing company (regional, federal, international), the number of employees, the direction of activity and the form of taxation;
  • The total duration of your work experience on the profile;
  • How many legal entities you had in service at the same time if you worked in a holding or had several clients on freelance;
  • Two or three non-trivial tasks that you have encountered. This can be a transition to new software or its new version, restoration of accounting or starting from scratch and so on;
  • Additional functions that you performed in addition to standard accounting tasks (say, economic planning and analytics);
  • Checks that your “wards” companies survived. How many were there and how successfully they ended.



By template or in your own words

If literacy can be helped by any online service for checking spelling and punctuation, then the situation is more complicated with the content of the cover letter. Especially for those who can not boast of talent in the field of storytelling - and most of them.

Is the phrase “Hello! Please consider my candidacy for such a vacancy ”? No, in cases where a cover letter is very desirable, such a phrase is like the absence of a letter. Is it worth using templates that are easy to find in different online sources? Unless as a starting point, starting from which you write your text.

“The letter must be lively and individual. This is its main value, only in this case it convincingly and really works, ”explains Polina Brezhneva, an expert at the Ready Resume service . - Letter is your direct speech. “You need to write it thesis, but with charisma and at the same time without too much lyrics.”

What can be advised to those who are not sure of their abilities to compose successful phrases: think about what information is needed in the cover letter in your case (sketch out something like a plan), and then try several different options with which this information can be to formulate. Ask someone you trust to evaluate the text objectively and choose the best version of the wording or advise another.

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