It's not unusual for job seekers to treat the cover letter as an afterthought.
So much time and thought is put into their resume that the cover letter becomes an optional extra - a hap-hazard
collection of random paragraphs that sound great on their own. In actuality, employers often put more emphasis
on the cover letter than the resume. Why? Because the cover letter is an opportunity for the job
seeker to speak directly to the employer and for the employer to assess your enthusiasm for the position.
To miss this opportunity is a huge mistake!
Cover letters comes in 3 shapes and sizes:
Generic - A generic cover letters is an overview of what is in the resume and may highlight extra
information about recent accomplishments. It does not to pretend to be responsive to the job criteria.
Generally speaking, an employer can smell the generic cover letter a mile away! The job applicant runs
a risk of having their cover letter skimmed over if the information does not relate to the position.
Responsive to job ad - The cover letter is written specifically for the job ad. The most important
criteria is highlighted and responded to. Because it is tailor made for the position, the employer
tends to read it thoroughly and carefully.
Criteria responses - More and more employers also ask job seekers to respond to specific criteria,
which may sometimes take the place of a cover letter. Criteria responses can number anywhere between
a handful to a dozen and can be in the form of short answer to mini essays. Whatever the form, they
can be tricky and some practice is needed to meet the challenge.