We have talked about cover letter writing tips and the importance of writing a great cover letter in the past.
However, there are many myths related to cover letters that job seekers still believe to be true. In this post, we aim to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.
Cover Letter Myths
Myth #1: You Don’t Need a Cover Letter
This is the most common myth that we really here. Students and job seekers think that the cover letter culture is present only in western countries and not in India.
Nothing can be farther from the truth!
You definitely need a cover letter in addition to your resume. Even though many job postings will not explicitly ask for a cover letter, HR managers in good companies expect you to send one in.
There are many people who send in resumes and competing for the same job. Almost 95% of them won’t send in a cover letter. If you send one, you already stand out from the rest.
Myth #2: Your Cover Letter Replaces Your Resume
Some job seekers have the mindset that it’s an either or case when it comes to cover letters and resumes.
No, a cover letter is not a replacement of your resume. They are both separate and serve different functions.
Myth #3: Cover Letter= Summary of Resume
We appreciate when job seekers understand that cover letters are essential. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone has the right concept about them.
Cover letter is NOT a summary of your resume. It serves an entirely different function. It showcases how you can make a difference to the company in question. It’s about why they need you.
A resume showcases your experience and skill set. A cover letter shows how you can apply it specifically to that company.
Myth #4: Cover Letters and Covering Emails Are the Same
While in some cases (where employers cannot accept attachments), this can be true. However in most cases, a cover letter and a covering email are two different things.
Covering email is a very short introduction that you use to draw the employer attention to your resume and cover letter.
Myth #5: Cover Letter Can Get You a Job
Although they are really important in getting an interview call, it’s not a magic tool to get you jobs.
The primary aspect of getting jobs is at the end of the day your abilities. A cover letter simply portrays your skill set in the right way.
If you are not a good candidate for a job, then no matter how good a cover letter you write, you won’t get that job!
Myth #6: Cover Letter via Email Is Not As Good As Cover Letters via Postal Mail
Which age are we living in?
Most communications happen via emails these days. With more and more offices moving towards being paperless offices, traditional mails hold less importance.
It’s also difficult to track and reply to traditional mails as compared to emails.
Make it easy for the recruiter to get in touch with you and get you on board. Make life easier for them can drastically improve your chances of employment.
Myth #7: Cover Letter Must Be Really Short
Although short communication is ideal, cover letters shouldn’t be too short.
The ideal length is – as long as it needs to be!
If it takes two pages to properly explain how you can make a positive difference to the company, go ahead and do it. However, don’t be restrained by the idea that a paragraph long cover letter is ideal.
Myth #8: Cover Letter Must Be Personal
Although you don’t need to be 100% professional in your cover letter, take care not to become too personal.
Understand the purpose it serves. It should make the reader think that you are a perfect match for the job as your skill set and your past accomplishments will provide value to the company.
Don’t talk about your hobbies, or other personal stuff. Humor is good to a certain extend as well.
Myth #9: Cover Letters Are Less Important Than Resumes
This follows the myth that cover letter and resumes are interchangeable.
Both cover letter and resumes are equally important from a recruiter’s point of view. So make sure you take out enough time to customize both the resume and your cover letter.
Myth #10: Once You Send Application, It’s Up to the Employer to Follow-up
Since you have taken so much effort to explain everything in detail via your resume + cover letter, you might think you are done with.
No, you can’t simply sit and wait for the employer to call you up. If you don’t get a call or reply after 3 days, follow up with the employer.
Myth #11: Only Experienced People Require Cover Letters
Even freshers require a decent cover letter. In fact, freshers require it more than experienced people.
With experience, you are already per-qualified. If some other companies hired you, you must be good enough for them.
However if this is your first job, how can you be recruited confidently? You need to write a decent cover letter that showcases your skills and shows them how you can blend in with the organization culture.
So, next time you are planning to apply for a job, ensure that you don’t fall for these myths!