How Can Your Resume Support Your Cover Letter?
If your resume is your first impression, your cover letter is your opening pitch.
Together these two professional documents present you, as a package, to a company. As such, they should work together seamlessly to present the best version of you possible.
According to our resume experts, here are the six situations when you can send a cover letter:
- The employer has requested a cover letter in the job advertisement
- You are applying on an online platform like ‘Indeed’ that asks for cover letters
- You are applying for a crazy competitive position
- You feel limited by your resume and want a tool to show your personality
- You want to show how badly you want the job
- When you want to explain a career transition
Your Resume and Cover Letter: An Unbeatable Team
Learn how your CV or work history can support your cover letter – and the other way around.
1. The Cover Letter Helps Explain and Expand on Your Resume
Your cover letter supports your work history and skills list by filling in the gaps.
If you have a choppy or spotty work history, your cover letter can fill those holes and explain why. If you accomplished some task or feat that makes you a shoe-in for the position, you can mention it on your resume, but go into detail in your cover letter.
These two documents work in tandem to provide a complete history and explanation of your career. If your trajectory has been unique, complicated, or interesting, you need the support of each.
2. Your Cover Letter Illustrates Your Investment in the Position
Your resume example shows off your prowess, but your cover letter supplements that by showing how you’ll apply it to the company.
You get to express your interest in the organization, your enthusiasm for the work, and how you can contribute to the team. Paired with your credentials, you can’t lose with this one-two punch – but only if you do it right.
3. Your Resume Shows – Your Cover Letter Tells
You spent long hours over a resume creator perfecting your information and presentation. You chose the right resume template and tweaked it. However, this document only shows what you have done – it doesn’t tell the story of why.
With a compelling, well-crafted cover letter, you get to complete the picture for your prospective employer. That’s a huge benefit for you. If you explain yourself well, the company will know right away whether you are a good fit for them.
Your Resume Is Nothing without Your Cover Letter
The most compelling case for including a cover letter in your application packet is simple. It steps in where a work history list cannot. It fills in the gaps and supports the information you can only show on a resume example.
Even if a hiring manager doesn’t ask for a cover letter, consider including one anyway. Even if it doesn’t get read, it helps you define exactly what you want from a job, preparing you for the next steps – like, for instance, an interview.