Most employer websites say optional but curious if not submitting a cover letter has an impact on your potential for hire? Additionally, how do you determine what information should be in your cover letter versus your resume?
I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!
June and Jose addressed the cover letter well. I also sold the cover letter as a way to tie your self to the company, your resume matches the job, but in the cover letter you can speak to research you should do on the company, maybe even your division of department.
Letters of reference, are a little outdated. Most companies ask for references at the end of an interview if they are interested, then you give them a list of GOOD ways to get a hold of the references. Also let the references know who might call. You want recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. Be sure that it is about the career you are search a position for. Many times you many be going into HR and a supply chain recommendation may not apply. HR folks look on LinkedIn for the recommendations. Thanks for your service and God Bless.
Why a cover letter? Now remember a cover letter might come in the form of the E-mail you forward along with your resume to a hiring manager, HR person or Talent recruiter.
Successful cover letters go something like this:
Specific, organized examples of relevant work done and problems solved
Concise conclusion with a call to action
Its the bottom line up front intro to what you bring to the table.
ON the other hand your resume should be specific to the type of work you're applying for and directly related to the job description.
That said, you can bring a general resume to a job fair or hiring event. Find an employer or position that interest you. Introduce yourself and meet an HR or hiring manager and share your resume with them (using it like a calling card) but follow up with a specific resume that applies to the position that interest you with the person that you met at the event. In doing this you might of just bypassed step #1 and #2 of the hiring process and put your resume in the hands of the decision maker.
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