Cover letter confusion
It’s Sunday afternoon and those Mondayitis feelings are just around the corner.
Sound like a familiar thought? Many of us experience these feelings until we arrive at what eventually becomes the defining moment that we decided to move on from our current employer.
It starts with some simple browsing, but before long that ‘Apply’ button appears bigger and brighter than it did when you began. Although not long after starting the application process, the thought, of a ‘cover letter’ crosses your mind and it’s often at this point that many job seekers switch to procrastination mode.
We get it! Staring at a blinking cursor on a blank document can be rather uninspiring. So let us start by saying, don’t let a cover letter be the thing that stops you from applying for a job you really want.
Cover letters – are they necessary and does anyone read them?
Yes, we do read them, but are they necessary? Within the civil construction market, not necessarily. Unless a job application states one is required, a cover letter is an optional item.
But wait! Before you start smashing that apply button again. Have another look at your resume and ask yourself;
Have I included everything to grab the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention? Or, can I shout a little louder – “I’m perfect for this role!”
If you could be shouting a little louder, then a cover letter is the perfect tool for you. An effective cover letter can help your application stand out from other candidates and deliver a memorable and personable introduction to your resume.
What makes an effective cover letter
- Be specific to the position you’re pursuing – write a fresh letter for each application.
- Establish clear and concise links between your resume and the criteria outlined for the job.
- Share an engaging story from your career. Showcase a relevant example aligned to the skills and experience required, demonstrating your aptitude as a strong candidate for the role.
- Conclude politely and with enthusiasm to progress further. Let the reader know you would appreciate an opportunity to meet and discuss the value you can add to the company or project.
What can you do instead of writing a cover letter?
After reading this excellent advice you may have decided to take the time to write a cover letter – off you go then…start creating!
Alternatively, you may have decided to skip a full-blown cover letter. As long the job post doesn’t specifically state one is required, you’re fine to make this choice. Adding a brief profile at the top of your resume can serve as a suitable substitute.
A resume profile should include a brief but detailed and logical connection between your career goals and achievements. One way to highlight this is by using percentages or statistical data to demonstrate successful outcomes.
What to include in your resume profile
Your resume profile should offer a brief introduction that includes your years of experience and area of specialty. This is followed by the skills and strengths you possess which are relevant to the job you’re pursuing and includes an example of an achievement you’ve accomplished.
The example you provide in your professional profile needs to be concise and factual – what did you achieve and how did it benefit the business or project?
Here are some suggestions to get you started. You may have:
- Made a cost saving
- Streamlined a process to reduce waste or increase efficiency and productivity
- Devised an innovative solution to a problem
You’re on your way to addressing your Sunday afternoon Mondayitis!
Choosing change is often the hardest part, so congratulations to you for making your choices and doing the necessary research to prepare a well-polished application.
Now you’re ready to smash that ‘Apply’ button – good luck and remember our consultants are here to support you on your professional journey. Visit our Jobs page to apply for current opportunities or submit your resume here and let us inspire your new chapter.