A cover letter should always accompany the resume and is
used whenever emailing, faxing or snail mailing your resume to companies in
which you have an interest, which may or may not be actively advertising for a
position. Cover letters should also be used when contacting recruiters or search
Remember that EVERY document you send to an organization
should SELL your skills to the reader. You have carte blanche in a cover letter
- it is vital that you market your strengths in this letter, not just state the
obvious. It is important to remember that the reader has probably read a great
number of cover letters prior to reading yours, so it is wise not to say the
same thing as everyone else, i.e.,
"I saw your
ad online for a Systems Administrator position and have sent you my resume."
This is a terrible introduction, and an old cliche'.
Stating the obvious in a cover letter is a waste of time
for both the writer to have written, and the reader to read. However, time
tested research indicates well-written cover letters bolster the chance of a
resume being read by up to 65%. Best used in conjunction with a resume, the
cover letter must also be able to stand on its own, and sell you to the reader
in a concise but effective matter.
(For more information on writing cover
letters, and to see a sample cover letter, please go to the
article entitled "Writing Cover
Letters that Sizzle".)