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In the time it took you to reach this page from our homepage, the hiring manager’s already stopped reading your cover letter. That’s because they spend an average of seven seconds reading your cover letter.

So, why write one?

They complement your resumé. It’s your opportunity to show those skills you listed. If you wrote that you’re creative and have communication skills, write something in your cover letter that shows your creative communication abilities. You can also supplement your resumé by explaining misconceptions and highlighting achievements, but DON’T repeat anything in your resumé – it’s wasting the reader’s time.

Unless stated otherwise, write one and customize it for each job, because an application with a cover letter is better than an application without one.

What can cover letters reveal?

Your concise writing abilities, attention to detail, researching skills, reading comprehension, interest level, personality type, creativity…essentially a lot so you can’t use the same cover letter for each application. Customize!

The goal of the cover letter is to secure an interview. You must separate yourself and show why you’re more qualified than the other candidates. Consider the responsibilities of the hiring manager and answer the question:

Why should I be one of the five (out of 100) applicants who deserves another 30 minutes to demonstrate why I’m the best candidate?

You can find many different cover letter templates out there, so find the style that best fits you!