It may well enable you to fire out a lot more applications, but they’ll almost certainly all be wasted. And that good news is that you’ll immediately raise yourself above the rest of the pack if you take the trouble to write one.
Setting down why you’re interested in and suited to a role kick-starts a vital process.
In fact, you have practically zero chance of securing an interview if a speculative application consists solely of a CV.
After all, you’re interrupting someone’s busy working day. What busy person would bother to invest their precious time in reading through a CV if they don’t know why they should? They need indicators of how you fit the job or why you might be worth checking out.
Although your CV may not be that different to a couple of hundred of your graduate friends, your cover letter gives you the opportunity to explain what makes you special – make the most of it!
So you have taken time out of your career but now you want – or need – to get back into the world of work.It draws the employer’s attention to your qualities and matches them to what they’re looking for.It sets in progress a train of thought in their mind that may well result in calling you in for interview and, ultimately, a job offer.Sure, those details might belong to the perfect person for the role, but they require a lot of interpretation. If you’re applying for a wide range of jobs, this approach is especially dangerous. Try Emphasis 360, our online business-writing training: short, interactive lessons to help transform everything you write at work.And that interpretation takes both time and mental energy, both of which the employer is almost certainly lacking. That’s because that means making your CV pretty general, so that it covers all eventualities. Try a lesson for free here.] The same thing is true if you’re applying speculatively, when you don’t know if a role even exists or you want to persuade someone to take you on as an intern.It also shows that you can empathise with your potential employer and their situation – something that can only help make them see you in a positive light.Failing to write a cover letter is a false economy.A good cover letter (or, more likely these days, a cover email) can draw them in.It can make them see that you are worth investing a few more minutes in; that it’s worth reading your CV.You should already have work experience from another industry – put a spin on that experience and it shouldn’t matter that you’re starting out in an unfamiliar role.If you’re unemployed and you’re worried about gaps on your CV then a cover letter is your perfect opportunity to explain why you’ve found yourself in this situation (it’s nothing to be ashamed of, after all) and explain what you’ve been doing in your spare time to make you perfect for the job…