Writing a cover letter helps your resume land in the right hands.

Writing a cover letter with your resume can convince potential employers that you’re the right person for the job.

But do you really have to write a cover letter when your resume or resume objective statement already explains your past accomplishments? Yes!

Resumes are typically organized in a strict format. Writing a cover letter, however, allows you more flexibility to express your aptitude for a specific job as well as a bit of your personality. Written correctly, a cover letter will:

1. Match your resume to the job.

The primary purpose of writing a cover letter is to interpret the main points on your resume. When writing a cover letter, state what you can bring to the workplace, and how each of the skills on your resume has prepared you for the particular job.

Writing a resume cover letter also demonstrates your knowledge of the company, which alone can impress many employers. Mention a few aspects of the company in your cover letter and why they attract you to the position, or describe an area the company is developing and how you can help.

This means that each cover letter you write should be slightly different – the most effective cover letters make an impact not only because of your qualifications, but because your descriptions are tailored to the needs of the position.

2. Show off your writing skills.

Writing a cover letter gives employers a better sense of your communication abilities than the lists and bullet points on your resume.

Employers in every field look for applicants who communicate well. After all, business hinges on the clear exchange of ideas. Writing a resume cover letter not only reveals how well you can get a point across, but also demonstrates your basic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

The writing skills you display in your cover letter can matter just as much as a job on your resume – so make sure to check your letter for spelling mistakes before sending it!

3. Explain your hidden strengths.

Including a cover letter with your resume can be a huge benefit for students and recent college graduates with little work experience. Writing a cover letter offers you the opportunity to highlight all of your skills – even those not listed on your resume.

When your job experience is limited, like if you’re looking for your first job after college, your resume alone might not tell employers why they should consider you. Writing a cover letter is your chance to say what your resume can’t. You can explain your lack of experience, but also note why you will overcome it if hired.

If you have qualities that you haven’t yet proven in a work environment, you can give examples of these talents by writing a cover letter. It’s an important way to direct your employer’s attention to abilities that they might overlook in your resume.

4. Express your creativity.

When resumes all have the same typical format, from fellowship resumes to entry-level resumes, they can seem routine – so show off your personality by writing a cover letter.

Professionalism is important in your interactions with a possible employer, but you can use many forms in writing cover letter and express more of your voice than a resume can.

Check out the tone of the job listing to assess how conversational or formal your cover letter can be.

Whereas resumes list the facts of your career history, cover letters can include your opinions and interests. If you aren’t sure your hobbies or extracurricular activities are right for your resume, but know they relate to your job duties, you can include this personal touch when writing your cover letter.

Stay positive and explain why you’re the only person for the job. Writing a confident resume cover letter will help gain the employer’s confidence too.