Cover Letter Writing FAQ

Are Cover Letters Outdated?

Despite the fact that there are many other modern ways to apply for a job, a resume and cover letter still remain the only official application documents for many big and small companies.

Taking into consideration that now the length of the resume is shorter, the necessity of sending a cover has become more evident, as here you can mention additional information, for example about gaps in the resume.

At the same time, cover letters are sent via email more frequently and it becomes another way to keep in touch with the recruiter. Another reason why cover letters are still important is the highly competitive job market.

Hundreds of applicants send resumes and it is important to find a way to stand out. But it is necessary to avoid glaring cover letter mistakes and realize that format differs nowadays. Otherwise, your cover letter can disservice.

Are Cover Letters Necessary for Online Applications?

We personally wouldn’t recommend you attach a cover letter when you’re applying for a job online.

Taking into consideration that now the length of the resume is shorter, the necessity of sending a cover has become more evident, as here you can mention additional information, for example about gaps in the resume.

Busy recruiters are always in a big rush trying to sort out “good” and “bad” resumes as fast as possible, so if you’re going to attach a cover letter to the online application, recruiters would most likely skip it and move on to your resume.

Therefore, try another approach by catching the manager’s attention through the body of your letter or using the appropriate method to include a cover letter in the email.

So when submitting your application online remember to list your key skills and most relevant experience, which is sort of a pre-introduction to your attached resume. And even in here remember to be specific about your qualifications to show that you’re truly a good match for the applying job.

Where to Include a Cover Letter in an Email?

This is always a big question for candidates, trying to figure out which way to send their cover letters. Should it be as an attachment, copy or simply paste it into the body of your email?

Well, different cases require different approaches to this process. Provided you’ve asked to include the resume and the cover letter along, there would be no doubts about sending it off as a PDF (rarely as a Word ) file attachment since it would likely be screened and printed out for job interviewers.

But there could be times when including the whole file would not be a necessity (job posting states “no attachments” or your cover letter is really short). That’s when you must attach your statement right in the body of your email.

How to Address a Cover Letter?

Of course, the best way to address a cover letter to a person who is going to read it is by greeting him/her by name. In our case, we are talking about the name of an HR manager or an employer.

Salutation forms like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” are unacceptable. Not only do they look odd and quite unprofessional in the official document, but also demonstrate your unwillingness to make any efforts in researching the recruiter’s or the employer’s names.

In case the research doesn’t give you any results, you may consider generic salutations as an option. A current survey showed that among the common generic forms of salutation used in cover letters recruiters prefer “Dear Hiring Manager”. The other option is to avoid it at all.

By the way, if you’ve read about the ways to address a cover letter, you will manage to attract potential employers’ attention.

The other issue rises up when you don’t know how to address a cover letter to a person with a gender-neutral name. It can be as confusing as no names at all because you can’t use titles that reveal the person’s gender. In such situations, instead of using the title, put the person’s full name.

What Is The Difference Between Cover Letter and Resume?

Both resume and cover letter carry out the same purpose and both are extremely important during the selection process. Nonetheless, each of them is a separate and unique document with its own structure and formatting.

While a resume is always mandatory when applying for any kind of job, some employers might not require a cover letter. By the way, you might want to learn how to make a good cover letter.

Below are more points proving there is a substantial difference between a cover letter and a resume.

  • A resume summarizes your education and work experience. It must include a brief list of your employment history, educational background as well as skills, achievements, awards, and other valuable career-related information.
  • A resume is more of a document that conveys objective information. It states facts when, where, what, and how.
  • Cover letters highlight mostly your outstanding qualifications useful for the applying position. They contain more details about your achievements and skills. The document consists of 3 parts: salutation, main body with 2-3 paragraphs, and a closing sentence.
  • Compared to resumes, cover letters give you the freedom to explain why you are qualified for a particular role. Therefore, it contains information from your personal point of view. This is also a place to explain why you can become a great fit for the company you are applying to.

If you are interested in more secrets about an effective CV and catchy cover letter, just click the link to read our Resume Writing Lab blog article.

How to Email a Cover Letter and Resume?

At the very beginning of administrative assistant resume writing, you should choose a resume format. A specific resume template will help you to pick up the right information and organize it properly. The best choice for all kinds of admin resumes is Reverse-chronological.

The first thing you should do to email a cover letter and resume is to save them in PDF or Word document (.doc or .docx). PDF will save the formatting but you can write a cover letter in email as well.

Use your full name as the name of the document so the recipient will know whose documents there are.

For people, who don’t know how to send a cover letter and resume by email, it’s important to remember to add the subject line. Without this tiny detail, a recruiter might not even open your email. A good subject line contains the full name and the job title.

When you saved both of your documents in the right format but still don’t know how to email a cover letter and resume, you should write a little accompanying letter.

If you attach application documents, you should only write a subject line, mention that both documents are attached, offer to provide more information and let the recipient know how to contact you. If you write a cover letter in an email, you should format it properly.

Your email with a cover letter and resume must contain a signature with your full name, email, phone number, and LinkedIn profile if you have it. You can include other social media profiles that carry any professional meaning.

Don’t forget to check out your email several times before sending it.