Do you have to send a cover letter when applying for a job? Most times, yes. The purpose of a cover letter is to talk about yourself in your own ‘voice’.
Most organizations usually ask you to upload 2 documents (CV and cover letter), there’s a reason for that,your cover letter allows you to contextualize your experiences with real-world references.
Now, the problem seem to be that too many job seekers use a generic cover letter, meaning one cover letter for all applications. As it is advised to have your CV tailored for specific job roles, the same applies to your cover letter.
A cover letter is meant to complement your CV not duplicate it. A well written cover letter explains your reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences.
You can determine relevance by carefully reading the job description, evaluating the skills required and matching them to your own skills.
Think of instances where you applied those skills, nothing is wasted. Did you monopolise the sale of recharge card on your hostel block because of you were able to maintain a good relationship with your customers? Write this down when applying for a customer care role.
One thing that’s very important is to not write too much. Keep your letter focused, concise, and a few paragraphs in length. It’s important to convey just enough information to entice the hiring manager to contact you for an interview.
If you write too much, it’s probably not going to be read.
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