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Like its name indicates a resume cover letter is a letter that is addressed to a person and serves several important purposes related to your job hunting experience. Purposes of a Resume Cover Letter Contrary to common belief the cover letter is not just an adornment or decoration to liven up your resume. Curiously people think that because it has all the detailed information in it resumes eclipse the cover letter in terms of importance which is very very wrong. Resumes serve these purposes in relation to your application: o It is the first document that recruitment officers see and read during the recruitment process.
A good cover letter should highlight your core skills answer the question: "Why should I see you" and generate enough interest for them to read your CV. In a sense a well written covering letter works like an agent on your behalf. Taking the time to write a compelling letter tells the employer you are willing to go above and beyond; not just simply slap a resume in an envelope and mail it. The competition is intense in the job market these days and so it has become very important to have the benefit of an eye catching cover letter. No two letters should ever be the same; each one should be uniquely tailored to the job for which you are applying. A generic cover letter is insulting to an employer and will quickly find its way into the trashcan.
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Anyone who has read a few of my articles will know that I do not place much emphasis on resumes and by extension cover letters. I am a big believer that the most effective job search strategies revolve around networking and using contacts to land interview opportunities. Nevertheless there is certainly a place for cover letters and resumes in this process. Of the two for my money the cover letter is the more important. Why? Because the cover letter is the approach. In relationship terms how many guys have ended up punting because they blew the approach? The best resume written with scintillating panache will mean nothing if the reader cannot get past the cover letter.