Cover Letter Vs. LinkedIn-Which One Should You Choose?
People often wonder, should I take the time to write a cover letter or not? Do I need a LinkedIn presence? Do I need both? This article reveals the advantages of each and how to master their use in your job search.
The Most Effective Introduction for Your Job Hunt
A job application has many moving parts, from uploading a resume to answering pre-interview questions. When thinking of the different possibilities after clicking the ‘submit’ button, including a cover letter and creating a LinkedIn profile are great ways to express your interest in the company you want to pursue. When looking at a cover letter and LinkedIn profile, sometimes it’s easier to choose one. Which one would benefit you the most? With each one having its unique benefits and uses, it’s essential to know what they will bring.
The Benefits of Using a Cover Letter
Incorporating a cover letter into your job application adds more benefits than you think. Surprisingly, many candidates choose not to include a cover letter because they believe it won’t be a deal-breaker. However, putting in a little extra work can pay off during your job hunt. When you write your resume, you focus solely on the facts at hand, your accomplishments, and the metrics that set you apart. You can focus more on your personality and who you are on the cover letter. The overall idea of writing a cover letter is to be specific to the position you’re applying for and explain how the role aligns with your personal and professional vision.
Employers See Who Puts in the Extra Work
It’s easy to overlook the benefits of writing a cover letter for the position you’re applying for. However, writing a custom letter for the hiring manager may set you apart from the competition. Think of it from the employer’s point of view; if they were down to two candidates, but one chose to write a well-thought-out letter, and the other didn’t, who do you think may have the edge? Personalize the cover letter with the name of the hiring manager or recruiter within the company because that will display to them the additional effort and initiative you put into the interviewing process. Employers want to hire candidates who genuinely are interested in their job openings.
When in an interview, employers want to know who you are as a professional and as a person. Do you enjoy specific hobbies? Are you a vigilante volunteer in your spare time? Do you enjoy having a work/life balance? Take time to incorporate a few sentences in your cover letter to explain who you are on a personal level. Because resumes are about the facts, let the writing style and tone of your cover letter have a more personal feel. Being your genuine self is more important than regurgitating what the job description states.
Do Your Research
Aside from a resume, a cover letter lets you show off your knowledge of the company you’re applying to. Use company-specific examples of what made you investigate them in the first place and how that aligns with your values. This approach will set you apart from the influx of applications recruiters receive from LinkedIn, Indeed, Zip Recruiter, etc. Recruiters don’t want to review an application where the candidate just went down the list and made the one-click application without looking into the company. Employers value loyalty, and this tactic will help set you apart as a candidate.
The Benefits of Using a LinkedIn Profile
While a cover letter strengthens your application, creating a LinkedIn profile boosts your online presence to prospective hiring managers. LinkedIn hosts more than 600 million professional profiles and offers a nearly unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities. So, whether your goal is to find a new role, connect with professionals, or uplift your professional presence, LinkedIn is essential for today’s ever-changing market.
Recruiters Can Find You
A platform called LinkedIn Recruiter is an all-encompassing hiring platform that helps talent professionals find, source, connect with, and manage potential new hires. When you receive an InMail message from a recruiter, they likely found you through the LinkedIn Recruiter database.
LinkedIn offers a premium account that allows people who apply through their posts to see where they stand among applications; for example, their LinkedIn profile could rank them in the top 5%, 10%, 20%, and 50% based on the number of applicants.
Sometimes, the job posting will show who posted it; this allows the candidate to send an InMail message directly to that recruiter, bypassing the need for an ATS scanner. Although LinkedIn Premium is an investment, it streamlines the application process and gives you some insight you can use. For example, if you apply for specific positions where you have the experience, but your profile shows you are ranking comparatively low, you can decide to add relevant skills to your profile that the job requires. You can ensure that you aren’t shorting yourself by omitting skills the employer desires.
Tips to Boost Your LinkedIn Presence
- Showcase your accomplishments under each position on your profile.
- Maximize the skills section by adding 20 to 50 relevant hard skills in your wheelhouse.
- Add a custom banner photo showing your target industry and personality.
- Write an eye-popping headline that displays your specialties.
- Fill in your education, volunteer work, awards, and published work.
Choose Your Tools
After reviewing the benefits of a cover letter versus a LinkedIn profile, you’ve probably realized that they have different uses. While a cover letter helps enhance your application, a LinkedIn profile establishes an online presence that expands your reach to hiring managers who may only be searching through that platform. Not all employers use every job board to post a job; some may exclusively use LinkedIn, Indeed, or an industry niche board.
Leverage LinkedIn for Networking and Presence
Creating a LinkedIn profile that shows your skills will boost your chances of recruiters knocking on your door. If you haven’t investigated creating a LinkedIn profile yet, there is no better time to start than now. Use your profile to connect with people in your network, get found for new, exciting opportunities, and establish a unique identity for yourself.
Use a Cover Letter to Align with Specifics
Leveraging a cover letter allows you to express your interests more personally; it’s a flexible, precise tool to connect with the company and illustrate why you are the best fit for what they are looking for. Your letter can be “the thing” that helps the hiring manager recognize your name and enables you to stand out from everyone else who applied.
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