One of the truly arduous tasks of running a successful job-hunting campaign is consistently writing effective cover letters. For most people, this proves a difficult and ever-present challenge. Unlike a resume, where the job seeker can commit several hours to its perfection, cover letters must often be written "on the run," be tailored to specific circumstances, and still have a highly positive impact on the reader. For most people, this presents a difficult challenge. Unfortunately, in many cases, a hurried, sloppily-prepared document can lead to disastrous results.
If well written and informative, the cover letter can grab the reader's attention, raise his curiosity, and stimulate immediate interest in your employment candidacy. In fact, if particularly well written, it can sometimes raise sufficient interest to compel the reader to extend an interview invitation without reading the resume document to which it is attached.
Let's face it, the cover letter is the very first thing that greets the reader's eye. And there has been a great deal written about the importance of "first impressions" during the employment and interview process. The cover letter is no exception!
It is the document that creates that all-important first impression, and can have a great deal of impact on how the reader "perceives" you right from the start. If the cover letter is neat and well-written, it creates a positive impression, suggesting you are equally conscientious and fastidious about your work. Conversely, if sloppy or poorly written, the cover letter suggests you are someone who has little professional pride.