December 18, 2013, 2:20 PM — A cover letter has one objective, notes Lisa Rangel, professional resume writer and career expert.
"The purpose of your cover letter is to complement your resume and to entice the reader to want to read your resume and call you for an interview," she says.
So what happens if your cover letter gets separated from your resume, an event that can occur and one that is out of your control?
Rangel tells eFinancialCareers that planning for that possibility is a great lens through which to view your resume and online profile.
"Your resume and profile need to be strong enough to stand on their own to convey your value," she notes, "and your resume should not be dependent on a hiring manager having to read your cover letter for your resume or profile to make sense."
This is an excellent way to assess your profile and resume. Ensure your cover letter is complementary, but not so critical neither your resume nor profile can function alone. Pull them up, give them a read and then ask yourself whether they are effective and compelling without a cover letter.
- Do they accurately reflect and promote your best achievements and skills?
- Is anything important missing?
- Is there something in your cover letter that's not reflected in your resume or profile? Compare and contrast.
- Is your profile complete? Only 50.5% of LinkedIn profiles are 100% complete. Complete profiles present you as a professional with a keen eye for detail and greatly improve your chances for networking and job hunting.