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Cover Letter



Definition

A cover letter, in financial terms, is a document sent with a job application explaining the applicant’s credentials and interest in the open position. It is personalized for each position and its goal is to impress potential employers and convince them to read the applicant’s resume. This letter gives the candidate a chance to highlight their skills and experiences relevant to the job.

Phonetic

The phonetic transcription of “Cover Letter” is /ˈkʌvər lɛtər/ in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Key Takeaways

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Three Main Takeaways about Cover Letter

  1. Personalization: A cover letter should be tailored specifically to the job you’re applying for. It should reflect your understanding of the company, the role and how your skills and experience align with the company’s needs.
  2. Position Specific Content: Your cover letter isn’t a copy of your resume. Instead, it’s an opportunity for you to go in-depth about the experiences and skills that you have listed on your resume, and to tell a story about why you’re the right fit for the job.
  3. Professionalism: A cover letter also demonstrates your professionalism. It needs to be concisely written, free of errors, formatted properly, and should convey your ability to communicate effectively.

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Importance

A cover letter is a crucial element in business and finance, primarily used during job applications. It is an introductory document that emphasizes an individual’s skills, experiences, achievements, and makes a significant first impression to potential employers. It summarizes an individual’s capabilities and introduces the individual to the employer, often serving as the initial evaluation phase for a potential employer to decide whether a candidate is suitable for a specific job role. Therefore, an effective cover letter can make a candidate stand out, providing an edge over others, which is vital in the competitive business and finance fields.

Explanation

A cover letter serves as an introduction to a job applicant’s skills, qualifications, and experience. Its purpose is to entice the potential employer to further delve into the applicant’s resume or CV, and ideally, invite the applicant for an interview. It provides a personal touch to a standard job application, enabling a candidate to go beyond the basic elements of their resume to communicate their interest, enthusiasm, personality, and specific alignment with the job role and the company. It is a crucial tool for candidates to stand out and evidence exactly why they are the best fit for the role.In the business context, a cover letter can also be used to introduce a company, a proposal, or a report to a potential client or investor. It can be a tool for pitching or selling business ideas, products, or services, engaging the reader’s interest, and encouraging them to learn more about what is being offered. A cover letter in business scenarios is, therefore, a primary communication tool to capture attention, generate interest, and facilitate positive action from the recipient.

Examples

1. Job Application: Perhaps the most common real-world example of a cover letter is when an individual applies for a job. The applicant will write a cover letter explaining their qualifications, skills and why they would be a good fit for the job. The letter is often customized for each job application, highlighting the relevant experience and skills that make the applicant an ideal candidate for the position. 2. Business Proposal: Another example could be a cover letter for a business proposal. An entrepreneur looking to get funding from investors may send a business proposal, with a cover letter outlining the key points of the proposal, why the business is worth investing in, and what the potential return could be.3. Grant Application: An individual or organization applying for a grant might also submit a cover letter. The letter typically describes who they are, what their project is about, why it is important, and how the grant funds will be used. The goal here is to convince the grant body that their project is worth funding.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume when applying for a job. It provides additional information on why you are best for the job you’re applying for, detailing your specific skills and experiences relevant to the position.

Is a cover letter necessary when applying for a finance/business role?

Though not always required, a well-written cover letter can give you an edge over other candidates. It gives you an opportunity to showcase your soft skills, passion for the industry, and elaborate on experiences mentioned in your resume.

What should I include in my cover letter for a finance/business role?

Your cover letter should be tailored to the role you’re seeking. It should include your contact information, the employer’s contact information, a professional salutation, introduction of yourself, a description of your relevant skills and experiences, why you’re a good fit for the role and company, and a professional closing.

How long should my cover letter be?

A good rule of thumb is to keep your cover letter one page long with three to four concise paragraphs. Employers are often busy and may not have time to read lengthy documents.

Should my cover letter be the same for every job I apply to?

No, ideally you should tailor your cover letter to each job you apply to. Show how your skills and experiences directly align with the requirements and responsibilities of the position.

How do I end my cover letter?

You should end your cover letter with a professional closing such as Kind Regards or Sincerely followed by your name.

Can I send my cover letter in the body of the email?

Yes, you can include your cover letter in the body of the email unless the job description specifically asks for it as an attachment.

How do I address my cover letter if the hiring manager’s name is not listed in the job posting?

If the hiring manager’s name is not listed, you can use generic greetings like Dear Hiring Manager or Dear [Company Name] Team.

What does ‘tailoring your cover letter’ mean?

Tailoring your cover letter involves customization to the specific job role. This means doing research on the company and understanding the job role to show you’re the best fit.

: Should I repeat information from my resume in my cover letter?

While your cover letter complements your resume, avoid outright repeating information. Use your cover letter as an opportunity to provide more insights into your abilities and experiences.

Related Finance Terms

  • Job Application
  • Resume
  • Recruiter
  • Personal Branding
  • Career Objective

Sources for More Information


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