When we are looking for different jobs, some tools such as the CV seem to be the most important. Although they are very useful, there are other documents that we can also use: the cover letter is one of them.
First of all, we have to know that a cover letter is not the same as a letter of recommendation when it comes to job presentations:
- The letter of recommendation gathers the opinions and recommendations of former employers or trainers about the candidate.
- The cover letter is an introduction to the CV that the candidate himself/herself offers to the employer or company where he/she intends to work.
Why is the cover letter important when looking for a job?
One of the most important issues when looking for a job, whatever the profile or sector, is to be able to distinguish oneself positively from the rest of the applicants.
Keep in mind that there are may applications for any given job. This means that recruiters will receive a large number of CVs. The first reading of a CV barely exceeds 30 seconds in medium and small companies.
Therefore, although it is very important to have a good CV that catches the eye, other elements of the presentation can help: and here the cover letter plays an essential role.
The cover letter, which should be attached to the CV, serves as a differentiating factor and an introduction to the information that we are going to offer in our candidacy. It is a document that was used massively in the past but it has become less relevant over the years. However, it can be really useful.
How should you write a cover letter for any kind of job?
The first thing to keep in mind is that not all jobs are the same. Therefore, neither should CVs be the same. However, the cover letter does not need to be adjusted to the same level as the CV depending on the company you are applying for.
There are two important things you should consider for a cover letter: what it should contain and what should not contain.
What a cover letter should contain:
- A salutation
A brief introduction to present yourself
- A paragraph of the reasons why you think you might be a good candidate
- A closing line.
What a cover letter should not contain:
- A lot of text: you should write a maximum of three to five paragraphs of no more than three lines each.
- Duplicate information in the CV: avoid adding information that is already in the CV.
- Spelling or grammatical mistakes: it is essential to have a good image in the presentation.
- Photographs, drawings, etc.
In general, you should think of the covering letter as an attractive initial tool that motivates the interviewer to visit your CV (don’t lose the objective), to access the most important step in the job search process: the personal interview.