Putting Your Best Foot Forward
Your cover letter is the first writing assignment you will complete for a prospective employer. It's a preview of your work. To demonstrate your future performance, it only makes sense for you to stay on task and focused, presenting relevant information in an easy-to-read format. In your cover letter, you should be specific, focusing on the job you're applying for or a function you're interested in. You have to impress the readers in a subtle way, by presenting the information they need and suggesting what you think the next step should be. A cover letter must be independently strong yet complementary to your resume. Together, these two documents motivate readers to invite you to interview.
Which comes first, the resume or cover letter?
You present the cover letter to an employer as an introduction to your resume—remember, it “covers” the resume. But when it comes to writing, you should complete the resume first. In fact, many cover letters appearing here have been inspired by the resumes listed in The Everything® Resume Book, 2nd Edition.