Hey grads, should you include a cover letter with your resume?
The first thing to consider is understanding who your audience is, or who will be receiving your CV when you send it in.
Is it someone who is narrowing down a shortlist of CVs to give to a hiring manager or is it the hiring manager? If it’s someone who is screening CVs they are culling and are looking for anything that might put them off. If they don’t ask for a cover letter, and you include one, that gives them a reason to not forward yours on.
Also, two common mistakes people make when writing a cover letter are spelling the recipient’s name or company name wrong or using incorrect grammar. Make sure you get these two right or that is an instant reason to chuck yours in the bin.
Here are some pros and cons to consider when weighing out whether to include a cover letter or not:
- Some companies use it to differentiate between candidates because they can read why they are interested in the job.
- Forbes further reports that 53% of employers prefer a candidate who submits a cover letter, so with over half expecting one you cant go wrong.
- The recipient is time poor and will most likely skip the letter and go straight to your resume.
- More and more employers are turning to your social media instead to get an idea about what you are really like.
If you choose to include a cover letter here’s what to do:
- Don’t summarise your CV
- Share what your career objectives are
- Share why you have an interest in that particular job
- Explain what you like about the company
Check out this great info graphic from Seek to help guide you further on what to include.