"Optional" Actually Means "Required" for Cover Letters
by Paige Faber, ACDC Peer Advisor
Applying for a job takes time, and when you see the words “Optional Cover Letter”, you contemplate not writing it. However, even if the application does not say that the cover letter is required, you should always treat it like it is. The following reasons explain why.
Displays Writing Skills
Even though your resume contains written language, it does not reflect your writing abilities because there are very few complete sentences. A cover letter is the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your writing skills. Use correct grammar, punctuation, and clearly convey your message to show the hiring committee how experienced you are in written communication.
Something that might also be found on your resume is a list of strengths, but there is little room on your resume to fit in any type of explanation for those skills. In your cover letter, you should highlight a skill or two of yours and give an example of how this skill of yours would be beneficial to the organization in which you are applying. These examples of your skills can help give employers a more personal perspective into who you are and how you think and work.
While your writing skills and strengths are important, there is an even more important characteristic that employers are looking for: effort. They want to know that you will put in the extra work and time to ensure that tasks are carried out to completion. Writing a cover letter, even when the application states that doing so is optional, will show them that you are capable of going the extra mile. Additionally, writing a cover letter can emphasis your interest and enthusiasm for the position and their business.Need some help writing your cover letter? Contact us at 402.554.3672 to schedule an appointment with an ACDC advisor or check out our website.