What is a Job Search Cover Letter?

What is a Job Search Cover Letter?

Dipping your toe into applicant pools during your job hunt can be intimidating. You'll have to recount all your years of experience, re-evaluate everything you've learned, and squeeze all of it into a single sheet of paper.

Make the extra step toward your dream career by preparing a cover letter. While it's optional, a job search cover letter can highlight the best qualities that make you the perfect fit for your desired role. Impress recruiters by perfecting your job search cover letter with the guide below.

Why is a Job Search Cover Letter Important?

A cover letter for your job search is typically a one-page document that aligns your previous experiences, skills, and qualifications to the role you're applying for. It gives the interviewers a glimpse into your values and the qualities you bring to the job. When you include a cover letter in your job search, make it substantial, short, and straightforward.

When writing a job search cover letter, ensure it's personable by using a writing tone that's professional but still shows personality. A compelling job search cover letter may secure success in your dream career.

When Should You Include a Job Search Cover Letter?

Should you create a job search cover letter for your next interview? Read through the instances in which you'll need one below.

  1. When the hiring manager requires it

    Some companies don't require cover letters for a job search listing. But remember that although it's not mandatory, this doesn't mean it's not expected. Taking the extra effort to prepare a job search cover letter is better than showing up at your interview empty-handed.

    If a recruiter requests a cover letter, promptly provide one with a copy of your job application. It can demonstrate your ability to follow instructions and allow you to stand out from other applicants.

  2. When you're recommended for a position

    Creating networks and connections within your industry are important parts of employment. When a friend or colleague refers you for an open position, sending a cover letter with your application is best.

    Mention your referral at the beginning of your job search cover letter to establish a connection with the hiring manager. Highlighting your mutual contact with the recruiter can give you an advantage as they can ask your referral for more information about your qualifications and outlook on work.

  3. When you need to address the gaps in your resume

    With a job search cover letter, you can address points that may raise your interviewers' concerns about your resume or CV. Preparing a cover letter for your job search allows you to explain and speak positively about your previous work experiences.

    You can contextualize why you're interested in taking a different career path and what your next step looks like. Frame incomplete educational degrees, short-term job positions, and employment gaps as valuable learning opportunities and how it has shaped you as a professional.

  4. When you're hesitant about your work experience

    While a job search cover letter can't make up for a significant lack of employment experience, it can increase your chances of setting the right mood as you introduce yourself to potential employers. Create a cover letter that expands your other professional skills and achievements and how these can complement the workplace.

    Preparing a cover letter for your next job search can highlight personality traits that best fit a position. For example, an applicant for an elementary-level teaching assistant may narrate how their previous job as a babysitter has helped them understand what kids need with only basic vocabulary.

  5. When you want to provide genuine insights

    Remember that a cover letter should be a companion to your job application. An effective job search cover letter incorporates the professional skills listed on your resume with your personal insights that offer more than the monotonous voice of calculated business jargon.

    Provide specific instances of how you've developed yourself and your interests from prior work experiences. Stand out from the pool of applicants by maintaining a genuine voice in expressing your eagerness to start the job and work with the team.

Get the Job Done

Make a splash in the pool of applicants and stand out from the rest with an effective cover letter for your job search. Prepare a cover letter that recruiters won't regret taking the time to download and read. Browse through job listings on Career.com to find the right job for you today!

Written by Career Specialist May 23, 2023
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