I am one of the many industry professionals that will tell you the importance of including a cover letter to accompany your resume. Although the jury is still out on this one; debate is still flaring amongst industry professionals like myself as to the importance of writing and including a cover letter with your job application. My professional recommendation is to do one, and one must be done if they ask for a letter to accompany your resume.
I develop very comprehensive substance- and outcomes-based resumes averaging at three pages in length, at the most four for clients in Australia; resumes contain a whole lot of solid substantive information that will keep prospective employers interested in reading over the document in entirety. That said, I am big on creating letters that are concise and kept strictly to one page, and that highlight up to a maximum six of your key achievements in line with the job ad and field you are interested in applying. It is essential that the cover letter is created and tailored to suit the job ad or role description – do not send generic cover letters with your applications.
The achievements listed in the cover letter should not be directly copied and pasted from the resume; they should be paraphrased and captured in a concise two-lined bullet point.
Emphasising outcomes/achievements in your cover letter will reinforce your value and put you ahead of the pack over your competition!
I am dead set against starting the opening paragraph of the cover letter along the lines of: ‘I am formally applying for the role of Customer Service Manager as advertised on Seek.com.au’. Following is a better and punchier example of how you can shape the opening paragraph, which gets right to the point about you and your experience in this field:
The majority of management roles I have held over recent years have involved steering and driving teams in the provision of front line, face-to-face customer service. I have received formal recognition and awards in recognition of outstanding performance in the customer service arena.
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