Quick answers to common cover letter questions

By Jeremy Cyrus 02/19/2014
Quick Answers to Common Cover Letter Questions

This week, Free Resume Builder provides a few answers to questions we've received about cover letters and the job application process.

Just today, I've seen three job posts that ask for a resume only. One of them asked for resumes and said cover letters were "optional". What should I do? If I write a cover letter from scratch for each of these positions, I'll waste valuable time that I could be using to contact my network or search for other jobs.

First, it's always a good idea to submit a cover letter with your resume, even if this isn't specifically requested. Second, when a letter isn't required, you don't need to spend hours creating one. Just a few lines will do, as long as your letter contains three key bits of information: A respectful introduction of yourself and your resume, the title of the job in question, and a quick summary of what makes you perfect for this position. Finally, to limit the time you invest in each letter you write, use a basic template and tailor key information (like the company name) before you submit your application to each employer you pursue. Visit Free Resume Builder for help with this process.

I'm a terrible writer! But I'm really great at my job. How can I keep my weak writing skills from giving employers the idea that I'm an idiot?

Of course you're not an idiot! And the accomplishments and credentials described in your cover letter will make this clear. But to keep your clunky sentences from getting in the way of your message, you may need to seek out some professional editing help. There's nothing about this move that's the least bit unusual or unethical. While you're at it, have your editor look over your resume as well.

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