Cover letters are the unsung heroes of the job-seeking ordeal. They serve as a medium that helps candidates stand out from the crowd and grab the lucrative job opportunity. Unlike their ‘crisp’ counterparts, cover letters enable you to show more of your personality and dovetail the nuances of your work history and skill. In addition, cover letters are in high demand within the job market. For instance, a study shows that 45 percent of recruiters are likely to reject an application without an accompanying cover letter.
However, despite such relevance and significance within the job market, why are cover letters still a dreaded phenomenon? Unarguably, most job seekers despise the act of drafting a cover letter. But why so? Are you among the many people intimidated or irked by the prospect of designing a cover letter along with your resume? Then read ahead!
TOP FOUR REASONS WHY WE DREAD WRITING COVER LETTERS
- Writing Cover Letters ‘Seems’ Boring – Cover letters are deemed the most dreaded part of the job-seeking process because of their ostensible monotony. Creating cover letters may feel formulaic, thereby driving many people to dodge them altogether. This is particularly true if you are applying for multiple jobs and drafting multiple cover letters with the same rigid formula. Needless to say, after a while, the writing process can become tiresome. However, you can get out of this rut by putting on your ‘creative hats’ and taking it up as a challenge to lend some oomph and personality to your cover letter.
- Writing a Cover Letter is Intimidating – Many people feel nervous when they sit down to create a cover letter. A possible reason for such a rush of emotions could be the realization that a few lines could make or break your chances of landing a good job. In addition, the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ that may pop into a job seeker’s mind while writing a cover letter are endless. With so much tension buildup, it is obvious why drafting cover letters can become unexciting. A straightforward solution to this issue is to alter your thinking process. Do not consider writing a cover letter as an exercise upon which your life depends; instead, think of it as drafting a formal email. Such a rewiring will calm your nerves, and you will realize there is no rocket science behind writing a cover letter.
- Creating the Perfect Cover Letter is Time-Consuming – Even if you have rewired your brain to think of cover letters as a creative writing exercise, we still cannot deny the fact that it is a time-consuming ordeal. In addition, because of its perceived difficulty, preparing the correct cover letter usually takes up the most time in the job application process. Thus, it stumps a lot of applicants. The way to swerve such a ‘mental block’ and quicken the process of creating a cover letter is to follow a plan. Thus, the key is to ideate points, compile the thoughts in your head, and then sit to write your cover letter. This way, when you sit down to draft the document, you will not be scratching your head about what to write and how to write. Rather, you will be able to focus on penning down clear and concise sentences that professionally convey your already-prepared pointers.
- Writing Cover Letters is Difficult – Despite their ‘perceived’ difficulty, cover letters come with hurdles. Cover letters need to be short, and you must summarize 10 to 20 years of your career in a few cogent sentences. We all can agree that using words sparingly is intellectual work. Likewise, if the job seeker does not have a solid background in writing and enough practice, they will naturally feel insecure and unprepared when given a task such as writing a cover letter. A lot of people view good writing as a ‘talent’ than a ‘skill,’ a perception that can set most of us up for failure. When we do not feel we are not talented enough for a task, we will undoubtedly, have a bad attitude toward that exercise, which is valid for cover letters. The way to navigate this problem is by editing your cover letter multiple times after you have written it so that we know that we are giving it our best in terms of grammar, vocabulary, sentence framing, conciseness, etc. In addition, we must remember that creating a cover letter is not akin to writing poetry or fiction. Instead, a cover letter entails learning how to be a good communicator on paper, which is a skill, not an innate talent. In other words, writing a good cover letter simply boils down to patience, training, and practice.
So, there we have it, four reasons why writing cover letters seem like a despicable act. However, it is essential to remember that beyond fear lies victory. You must train your mind to overcome the nagging feeling that a cover letter is not worth it, or it is difficult, etc., because it is a document that can change your entire career.