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when to use a cover letter
to use a cover letter

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When to Use a Cover Letter

when to use a cover letter How do I know when to use a cover letter when dealing with an employer? Each company has its own requirements as to how it wants to proceed during the job application process. Cover letters have several benefits and oftentimes are able to better describe you as a person and a potential employee. They are not always necessary as you are involved in the job application process.

Cover letters can be applicable when you are applying for a job, an internship, or trying to get into a graduate program or university. Its purpose is to briefly tell a story about yourself and paint a picture to the reader about who you are as a person. Providing more insider details about your plans for the future and what happened in your past to make you the way you are now will aid recruiters in their search for you, the perfect candidate.

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When to Use a Cover Letter

When to Use a Cover Letter

Listed below are several reasons when you should and should not use this document. You will find that there are many positive situations that arise from using an effective cover letter, but other times the document may be viewed as unnecessary.
  • Using a Cover Letter
    While it can often benefit you to use one, just by following these suggestions and tips doesn't mean that you will be easily accepted by whoever is reading your portfolio. Your experiences and meticulous care with your writing is what will determine your success.
  • Unique Story Opportunity
    A positive aspect of using one is that if you have a particularly unique story or background, you can make it known to whoever is considering you. Sometimes your diversity or adversity can actually benefit you in a selection process, especially when applying for certain university programs.

    This is your chance to be set apart from the other candidates and remembered for some differing aspect of your life or history.
  • Reveal the Person You Are
    Another great reason to use a cover letter in with your professional portfolio is the fact that you have the chance to reveal the type of person you really are as you can express yourself more freely in paragraph form.

    When writing a resume you are restricted to bulleted lists and brief descriptions about your academic and professional history, but with a cover letter you can talk about the experiences that you had and how those shaped your feelings about where you are now. Sometimes when you explain to someone why you love doing what you do, they are more inclined to have you on their team as they believe you are a more genuine individual.
  • Begin to Build Rapport
    When you use a personalized cover letter that allows you to speak of your character traits and what makes you the type of person you are, a potential employer will begin to get a general feeling of what type of person you are, and how you may fit into their place of business.

    Building up a positive reputation among everyone that you encounter at the institutions you apply to is incredibly important in order to have a good application process and potentially more success at acquiring the position that you desire.
  • Show Some of Your Skills
    You have the opportunity to demonstrate some of your skills and certifications by describing them in your writing. If having certain skills and resources is important to the position that you are applying for, make sure that you depict some of the knowledge you have gained and specific skills that you have acquired during your time in the field.
  • When Wouldn't You Use One?
    As we have mentioned above, there are countless positive reasons why you would use a cover letter along with your professional portfolio. It seems as though after observing all of the great things that you can get from including one that there wouldn't be a time when using one is not needed.

    However, when the application explicitly states not to use one you should avoid doing so. Additionally if you really feel that it will be ignored or otherwise not read if you choose to attach it, then perhaps it would be in your best interest to save time and avoid using one.
Most of the time cover letters are helpful during your application process. They provide a chance for you to show who you really are and why you are a perfect fit for the position you are applying for. So don't miss an opportunity to help yourself. Assess your situation and make an informed decision as to when to use a cover letter.

New career resources are always added so check back often.

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