Found your dream job? Don't be so confident that you'll get hired: It's very likely that there are several other qualified candidates competing for that same position. That's where the cover letter comes in. Including a cover letter to complement your resume can be an effective way to impress hiring managers: It displays your strong writing skills, sets you apart from other applicants and shows that you went the extra mile. Linda Spencer, associate director and coordinator of career advising at Harvard Extension School, says that a solid cover letter answers two key questions :. So you need to make it clear right off the bat how you can add value.
Subscriber Account active since. If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more. As the job application process has become even more virtual, the application pool grows more competitive, noisy, and faceless. While your resume markets your skills, qualities, and experiences like a tailored menu, the cover letter follows a less distinct code of production. It leaves space for you to make a memorable mark, infuse your personality, and forge some kind of personal connection while rounding out your applicable experiences — but it also offers a lot of ways to mess it all up. In other words, the cover letter can make or break your application.
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Are you changing jobs—or maybe even industries? Transferable skills are those that can be used in different industries and jobs, and they can help make you a valuable candidate for employers. For example, you might have developed time management , communication, and conflict resolution skills in your student job as a food server. All of those skills will be useful to you when applying for a retail or customer service job, even in an entirely different industry. Match your qualifications to the job description.