Job seekers, including freelancers, are often confused about including a cover letter when applying for openings or gigs. This isn't surprising, as many recruiters in 2022 do not expressly demand one. Also, the advent of digital platforms like LinkedIn makes it easy to apply for jobs without remembering to include a cover letter. Thus making applicants believe that cover letters are outdated and a CV would suffice. But is a CV an adequate alternative to a cover letter? And is a cover letter still important in 2022?
Well, we have put together this guide to answer these pertinent questions and teach you how to write a proper cover letter.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a document that reveals deep insight into your personality and professional capabilities in a concise manner and is usually sent to a potential employer. This is not the same as a personal essay; it is written in a formal letter format and is frequently accompanied by a CV or resume.
Is a CV the same as a cover letter?
A CV is not a cover letter and is not an alternative to a cover letter. However, both are vital when seeking jobs as a freelancer. While your resume highlights important key points like your skills, competencies, and personal data, a cover letter expands on those key points. A cover letter reveals your competencies deeper and helps the recruiter understand how you fit into the role they are seeking to fill. In summary, it is an explainer document that enables you to sell yourself appropriately.
Do you need to include a cover letter in every application?
Yes, you should. The sole exception should indicate that the letter is not required. However, if the recruiter is silent on submitting a cover letter, you should send one. According to a survey, about 45% of employers believe that failing to include a cover letter will result in declining your job application.
What if it's made optional?
Please send in one.
If the recruiter makes it optional, ensure that you choose the option of sending in a cover letter. It allows you to pitch yourself and explain your abilities in detail. According to recent statistics, more than 50% of hiring professionals prefer applicants who submit a cover letter and a resume.
It's preferable to put in a cover letter and have the recruiter decide not to read it than not to send one at all. There are no reports of declined applications because an applicant sent a cover letter, but 45% of employers will decline an application for not including a cover letter.
How important is a cover letter?
Many freelancers and independent professionals have posed this question. This is because freelancing makes it easy to downplay the importance of cover letters.
Because freelancers work independently, many believe that a resume and a portfolio are sufficient to get a job. But freelancing is becoming more competitive, with many professionals substituting full-time employment for self-managed business. Hence, having a portfolio is no longer enough; many other professionals also have portfolios. You need a cover letter to describe your qualities in a distinctive and captivating manner.
A resume and portfolio may be similar to others, but your cover letter distinguishes you.
Here are important reasons why a cover letter is important:
Establishing your competencies: Cover letters allow you to expand your skills and abilities. It also allows you to highlight your experiences in a manner that suits the role you're seeking.
Addressing breaks in your job history Unexplained breaks in employment might drastically reduce your chances of securing a job. A cover letter allows you to explain the career break and how it won't affect your efficiency.
Allows you to be unique: The cover letter goes beyond the listings in a resume; it tells your story. For instance, two or more web developers vying for the same gig may highlight the same skills in their resume (java, front end, back end, etc.). Still, the cover letter allows them to share distinctive qualities like projects they have taken on and how they have individually deployed their skills.
How to approach a cover letter
The first thing to remember is that each application requires a unique cover letter. Some people make the mistake of sending the same cover letter to multiple jobs, simply changing the dates and names. This is ineffective and inaccurately portrays you. Remember that each job posting has requirements, and you should adapt your skills to meet these demands.
Here are details to include:
The recruiter's detail
Your cover letter should begin with the recruiter's details, including their name and address. This information is often available in the job advertisement. If you can't find the recruiter's name, you can use the working title, company, or other relative caption.
1103 College road
IL 0233 West Sussex.
If there is no name, you can begin with "The HR Manager."
Your personal detail
Also include your full name, phone number, and email address. Although this information will also appear in your resume, it is equally necessary to include it in your cover letter.
Discuss competencies, experience, and previous positions that are related to the position
Discuss present and previous experiences, how they are related to the current position you're applying for, and how these experiences make you the best fit for the job. This is an opportunity to pitch yourself, and you should align your skills and experiences with the employer's demands.
Your motivation for applying
Recruiters are interested in learning why you want to work for them. They want to hire someone enthusiastic about the organization and who shows genuine interest. You should disclose how working there will help you achieve your professional objectives.
End with a call to action
A call to action is a polite directive that urges a reader to take action. In this case, your call to action will encourage the recruiter to call you or send a message. For example, "I look forward to speaking with you."
Best tips for crafting great cover letters
Ensure you read and understand the job descriptioDon'tn'tdescriptioDon'tn'tdescriptioDon'tn'tdescriptioDon'tn't write and submit a cover letter just by reading a few sentences; you will certainly miss important information or insights. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the description before writing.
Research on the recruiter or company before writing: Researching what the company does, its location, core values, etc., will help you craft a better cover letter that aligns with its goals.
Follow every instruction to the latter: Some organizations request that applicants respond to specific inquiries or include certain information in their cover letters.Ensure you follow all instructions.
Employ a formal tone: Do not use informal words, slang, or abbreviations.Your tone should be professional.
Proofread before submitting: Your cover letter should be free from grammatical errors, so you must double-check to ensure the correct use of words and punctuation marks.
Keep it short: A good cover letter should be between 250-450 words and should be concise. Avoid using difficult words, jargon, and unnecessary vocabulary.
Encourage the employer to check out your portfolio: Every freelancer should have a portfolio that showcases their previous work and demonstrates their skills.Your portfolio can be hosted on cloud storage or a personal website. However, we encourage freelancers and independent professionals to host their portfolios on personal websites. Having a personal website makes you look professional.
People complain that building a website is expensive and time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be with platforms like Workee.
Workee is software designed to enable freelancers to manage their business efficiently.The Workee solution allows you to have a personal website in 5 minutes.
All you need to do is to brand the personal website with your information, add any detail you would want to have, and choose a unique URL.
But Workee is not just a website builder; it also provides you with other great tools that help you easily manage your business. These include;
Booking and Scheduling: With this, clients can book you, and you can schedule meetings. The scheduler comes with a reminder that alerts you of any appointments.
Payments and invoicing: with Workee, you can track all payments and issue automated invoices.
Video calls and messaging: Workee also allows you to communicate with clients through video calls and instant messaging
Tax management: If you're tired of all the stress that comes with managing taxes, Workee does all the heavy lifting for you.
Try Workee for free by clicking here and enjoy several benefits it has to offer to your business.
Free cover letter template
[Street Address] [City, ST ZIP Code] [Phone] [Email]
[City, ST ZIP Code]
The opening paragraph should be a brief introduction about you. Also, indicate the position you are applying for.
The second and third paragraphs should describe your competencies, experiences, accomplishments, and how they fit the job descriptionIt's'sdescriptionIt's'sdescriptionIt's'sdescriptionIt's's a good idea to include key points about why you're a great fit for the company and the best choice for the specific job.
Close with a call to action, and don't forget to ask for the interview—but keep it brief!
It is not in your place to decide whether recruiters read cover letters. You should always submit every application with a properly drafted cover letter. Of course, except where it is expressly not required. Read the above tips again to get insights on how to draft great cover letters for your freelancing business.