OK, you've prepared your resume; it’s perfect.
You are the ideal candidate every boss has been hoping for!
You swing from link to link through the jungle they call a job board and wonder when you can rest. Don’t give up yet! In the distance you see a landing (and according to your resume, you have the qualifications to make the leap). Your hands release the vine and you swoop through the air. In the midst of your glory you come to realize you've forgotten something…
Oh no! The landing seems to be separating itself from you. As you whirl to the depths of the jungle, head first toward the mouth of a hungry hippo, you realize you forgot a cover letter.
The jungle swallows you whole
OK it’s not that dramatic, but close!
Although a resume is a key component to your application, a cover letter can/should make a great impression. It’s your chance to introduce yourself, discuss specific opportunities you’ve had in previous employment and explain how you are the most awesome candidate for the job(professionally of course).
Always always always write a customized cover letter for each employer! Unless you are applying to 10 retail stores it is very noticeable when you’ve written a general letter. It just says ‘I need a job but I’m too lazy to actually dedicate time to personalize your first impression of me’. Weird right?
I will also recommend doing some ‘creeping’ on the company/organization you’re applying to. Get into the nitty gritty of who they are and what they stand for so you can tell them why you’d be a great fit! Tim Horton’s doesn’t need to know you love their Ice Caps and want a discount. They want to know you believe Timmy’s has been a valuable Canadian symbol since 1964 and you are proud to serve your country – or something like that.