Applying to a new role can sometimes feel a bit stressful, especially when you are required to write a CV and cover letter.
Not everyone is a skilled writer and I’m sure more than a few of us have had a moment of panic before writing a cover letter, the one where you stare at a blank Word document and wonder: Where do I start?
However, now that some companies are making cover letters optional, the biggest question milling around your mind might be “Do I even need to write one?”
With that important question in mind, we will go over the importance of cover letters and how to create a strong resume that can stand out by itself!
To begin with: What does an “optional” Cover Letter mean?
An “optional” cover letter means you only need to upload your resume to meet the submission requirements. This may seem surprising because up until recently, cover letters used to be a crucial factor in a job application!
In the past, cover letters allowed you to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and explain why you are a good fit for the role. However, as technology becomes more prominent, hiring managers are turning to social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to gain an idea of who you are as a person and if you are the right fit for the role.
The Benefits of a Cover Letter
Despite some companies making cover letters optional, it’s key to think over the benefits of writing a cover letter before choosing to hastily submit your application without one.
The reason behind this is that the only thing it can do is improve your application, rather than hinder it. By taking the extra time to demonstrate your interest in the company and explain why you are a good match for the role, you are allowing yourself to stand out against those who didn’t.
In doing so, you are making a positive first impression and showing the hiring manager that you are someone who goes the extra mile.
How to Make your CV stand out without a Cover Letter
Even though a cover letter can complement your job application, it won’t hurt your chances to go without submitting one, especially if your resume can speak for itself.
(Make sure to double-check that the cover letter is optional beforehand!)
Here are some key details you can add to your resume to help it stand out:
Contact details: Mobile/home number, current address, and email address (this allows a recruiter or hiring manager to easily contact you and discuss the role).
A short statement detailing your key attributes, career goals and biggest achievements that are relevant to the role.
Education and professional qualifications (make sure to include your grades!)
Work experience: Including your job title, company, and the dates you worked there. Don’t forget to include your responsibilities, as this gives the hiring manager an idea of what your previous roles required you to do.
Personal skills and achievements.
Any interests that are relevant to the role! For example, if you are applying to a copywriting role, the hiring manager might like to see that you enjoy writing in your free time!