A tailored cover letter accompanies your resume in order to introduce yourself, indicate what job you are applying for and present how you are uniquely qualified for that position. Cover letters add immense value to resumes by displaying your commitment and eagerness, showcasing your writing and communication skills, addressing unique requirements and qualifications, and articulating why you would be an asset to the organization.

One of the most common mistakes in cover letters is duplicating your resume and putting it into narrative form. Instead, utilize your cover letter to highlight your most marketable skills, deepen the employer’s understanding of your experiences, and draw a tighter connection between how you as the candidate make the right fit for the company and the open position.

Cover letters take time to write well because they are unique to each position you apply for, so they are difficult to reuse for other applications. But take heart. Well written cover letters will increase your effectiveness as a job seeker, so in the long run you will spend less time applying and more time interviewing... and working!

Our Cover Letter Guide provides more tips.