The Cover Letter
Question: What piece of paper should be included with every resume sent out and is as important as the resume itself?
Answer: The cover letter.
Each job response you send should include a one-page cover letter tailored to the situation, company, and position. A cover letter sells you by showcasing qualifications that specifically match the needs of the employer. Use it to show why you’re the perfect candidate for the job and to highlight relevant experience and specific skills. Rather than focusing on your wants or needs, show the company what you can do for them.
Have you got a referral from a friend or member of your network? Mention it upfront in your cover letter where it’s sure to be noticed. Also, a cover letter is your opportunity to gain and maintain control over communication with the company. In the final paragraph, mention that you’ll call on a specific day to make sure your resume was received and to set up a time for an interview.
Make sure that your resume and cover letter work in sync: it’s okay if their information overlaps or includes different details, but it’s definitely not okay if they contradict each other.