Almost every time you send a resume to a prospective employer, you are going to need to send a cover letter along with it. It is still necessary even when emailing your resume instead of faxing or mailing it.
The purpose of the cover letter is to personalize your resume, and customize it to the unique employer to which you are applying. What do I mean by this? Your resume is “generic” in the respect that it is static…you create a document that describes your qualifications, work history, education level, and objective, and you send it to every prospective employer with little, if any, changes. You add the cover letter to highlight any details that may or may not be included in your resume.
The things you should highlight are the qualifications you have the match the things the employer chose to describe in their ad. If they are looking for a project manager in a particular area, use the cover letter to let them know that you have managed a project in that type of area before. Other things to include in a cover letter:
- Your full name and contact information
- What job you are applying for
- At least one benefit the employer would receive from hiring you
- When you are available to begin work
- Answer any questions the prospective employer may have asked in their ad
Remember, a cover letter is meant to highlight your qualifications. You do need to let the employer know what you can do, but there is a fine line between informing and bragging. Try to sound confident, not egotistical; it will make a better impression!