Most professionals know the importance of a well-written resume. But don’t stop there. Angela from RedRocketResume explains why a cover letter can help you get the attention you deserve.

One of the most common–and most damaging–mistakes job seekers make is neglecting their cover letter. Getting a hiring manager’s attention is first and foremost a marketing endeavor. Like a movie trailer, a cover letter encapsulates the main ideas and most compelling highlights of your career. This creates interest and prompts the hiring manger to take the time to read the full story in your resume.

A well written, focused cover letter tells a hiring manager that you are committed to getting this job (as opposed to a job) and that you possess a drive for excellence that will carry over once you’re hired.

A great cover letter sets you apart from casual job seekers and can make all the difference between languishing at the bottom of a pile of resumes and winning the interview.

On the other hand, a sloppy or generic cover letter tells a hiring manager that you’re not so special–and that you don’t think this job opening is either.

What can a cover letter do that a resume can’t?

  • A cover letter can generate interest to convince a hiring manager to give the more extensive information in the resume full attention.
  • A cover letter can outline exactly how your qualifications match up with what the company is seeking.
  • A cover letter can address a specific company and a specific job posting, demonstrating that you really care about this
  • A cover letter can encapsulate your most compelling qualifications and dramatic achievements.
  • A cover letter can show your personality–your compulsion to crunch numbers, your drive to network new clientele, your inborn flair for customer relations.
  • A cover letter can put a positive spin on any negative or unusual career history.