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Cover letters add a human dimension

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Cover letters, love 'em or hate 'em.

They're a contentious topic in the job seeking/hiring world, and there isn't a clear consensus on their value. It depends a lot on who you ask and the specifics of the job, employer, candidates, etc.

Personally, I love a good cover letter. To me, they are a value-add, essentially a personal and persuasive essay that brings your application to life by adding a human dimension. ๐Ÿ’—

๐Ÿ˜ซ But it's such a draaaaaaaaggg to have to write these, Amy!!!

Ya, maybe if you hate writing and it's not your strong suit. And that's true for a lot of people, but here's why it's worth doing it. โœจ ๐Ÿ’ซ

Look at it as an opportunity to showcase your personality and tell a compelling, succinct, and relevant story about who you are as a professional. A strong letter isn't a re-hash of your resume, but a way to discuss your approach and philosophy, what differentiates you, and your vision for the role. And if you ARE really good at writing, that will show!

๐Ÿคน๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ So, how do I figure out if I should write one?

Well, is a cover letter required for the application? If yes, then absolutely. If you don't, your application is incomplete and you shouldn't even bother applying. ๐Ÿ›Ž

Some organizations will ask you to answer one or two specific questions. Make sure you do this! They genuinely want to know the answer, but it's also a test to see if you're paying attention! ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ Applying for a job that doesn't require one, or that makes it optional? I strongly encourage you to do one anyway, because what do you have to lose? Even more, think of what you might gain from taking the time to write something that catches the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager. ๐Ÿ†

But what if you're applying to 200+ jobs? Who has time to write 200 cover letters?!?!?!11 ๐Ÿ˜–

Well, that's an entirely separate problem, because if you're being strategic in your search, you won't be applying for every single job that's out there to begin with. Applying to 200 jobs is like going on 200 dates just because you *can*. It's not effective or efficient for achieving your relationship goals, whether personal or professional. Do not swipe right unless it's a good match.

Be focused and spend your time and energy with care! And if you hate writing, give it your best shot and find a friend or mentor to review it and share their feedback.

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