When your resume ends up in the hands of a recruiter or hiring manager for your dream job, they have the opportunity to review your education, skills, and past experience. Yet the truth is that it is very hard to write a resume that does not read like a cold and impersonal view into your career. Sure, you would be able to make things more personal during an interview, but what if you could accomplish that before you step foot in the same room? You can, with the help of a well written cover letter!
In this article, we are going to take a look at what a cover letter is, why it is so important to your include in your career portfolio, and how you can write your own cover letter today with a free template and simple step-by-step guide. But first, if you haven’t read our article on how to write your own resume, be sure to check it out below:
What is a Cover Letter?
Before we jump into the guide to writing your cover letter, let’s begin by reviewing what it actually is. At its core, a cover letter is the natural complement to your resume. What your resume lacks in the ability to personalize your experience, a cover letter is designed to satisfy this important element of your professional portfolio. A well-written cover letter will help you to share your “story” with your recruiter.
There are several key elements that you need to be sure to include. Let’s check them out below:
- Personal Information – Name, address, and phone number should all be included here
- Introduction – Start with one or two sentences to introduce yourself, including elements like your current role or academic background
- Objective – Write a brief description of what role or area of the business you are interested in
- Personal Touch – Skills, pre-requisite roles, or even a passion for the industry/company, this is your chance to add a personal touch to your story!
- Call to Action – Close your cover letter with a request for an interview, more information on opportunities
Now that we have taken a look at what elements are in a cover letter, let’s briefly review why a cover letter is so essential to your professional portfolio.
Why are Cover Letters so Important?
Here is one of life’s many universal truths: Skills and experience matter. This means that no matter how well you interview or stack your resume with accomplishments, you will find it very hard to land a job that you aren’t qualified for. And if by some chance you do, you won’t find yourself making many big leaps up the corporate ladder. Maybe this universal truth does not come as a big shock to you, but it should beg the question: In a sea of qualified applicants with equal skill and similar experience, how can I set myself apart from the competition?
This brings us to another universal truth: Being personable matters. Amidst the large cohort of young professionals seeking the career-building role of their dreams, bringing more personality or energy to your interview is one of the best ways to gain an edge. Cover letters are so important because they provide the opportunity to add this personal touch before you even enter the room!
Now that we have reviewed the key elements of a cover letter and how a cover letter can give you an edge in the interview process, it’s time to write your own!
How to Write Your Own Cover Letter
We made it! After learning about the essential components to include in your cover letter and why it is so important, it’s time to give you the final tools you need to write your own cover letter today and complete your professional portfolio. What are these tools? The Young Professional is happy to provide you with a free cover letter sample and template! Simply follow along with these two documents that you can download below.
Go forth and add the final polish to your professional portfolio today and seize your future!
I will be honest, it took me some time before I actually included a cover letter with my resume. For some reason, I was under the impression that this was an optional (and even unnecessary) component of my portfolio. It was not until I was preparing to apply to my leadership development program that a mentor fully explained to me how important this was. By following this guide to write your own cover letter, you are setting yourself ahead of the competition!
Are you still unsure if your cover letter or resume meets the expectations of today’s hiring managers and recruiters? Do you wish you could work with the expertise of other young professionals to perfect your professional portfolio? You’re in luck! The Young Professional is excited to offer services designed to edit an existing resume and cover letter or write a custom portfolio of your own. Packages start at just $10!
Check us our services at the link below:
Do you have tips of your own that you have used to perfect your professional portfolio? Share them in the comments below!