By: Jacqueline Boneri

Do I really need a cover letter to send with my resume?

Absolutely! A cover letter is an essential piece of your online or in person resume. Think of your cover letter as a way to explain “why you believe you are a good fit for the position”; whereas, the resume demonstrates “why you are qualified for the position through your skills and experience.” Many employers will not give your resume the time of day without a cover letter so do yourself a favor and create one.

What should be in a cover letter?

First, you will need to research the company so your cover letter is company specific. The first paragraph is your introduction paragraph. This paragraph will explain the position you are applying for and how you heard about the position. The second paragraph explains why you think you are the best person for the position.  This should include your educational background, work experience or related skills from your resume that you can explain how it fits into the position you are applying for. Keep in mind you are not rewriting your resume into the cover, you are simply highlighting major points you want the employer to know regarding how you are qualified for the position. The last paragraph is your closing statement where you want to thank the employer for their consideration, request for an interview, and how you will follow-up on your request.

Always keep your cover letter professional, concise, clean and error free. Try to personalize your cover letter to a specific person whenever possible. If you are unsuccessful in finding out who will be reviewing your resume then it is recommended that you list the department. For instance, “Dear Director/Manager of [specific department].  Never lie. Never use slang, texting abbreviations or symbols. Always, always, always, did I mention ALWAYS, proof read your cover letter? In fact, have several people read your cover letter to ensure there are no grammatical errors and that the document reads clearly. Once it is perfect then you will place your typed cover letter on top of your resume. Now you are ready to send your resume.

Jacqueline Boneri is the Associate Vice President of Student Services at Keiser University