When applying for a job, employers typically review resumes first to ensure that applicants possess the desired skills and experience. A resume is essentially a fact sheet, providing information about an individual's experience and education. However, a cover letter offers applicants the chance to share more detailed information about why they would be a great fit for the position at a particular company. It's important to use industry-specific language that references points in the job description and the company's website.
When sending a cover letter and resume, it's best to keep them as separate documents. However, be flexible enough to do whatever the situation requires. Keeping your cover letter concise will improve your chances of it being read and make the hiring manager's job easier. When people attach both documents to an email, usually only one attachment is opened - the resume.
Cover letters provide employers with an opportunity to hear your voice, understand your intentions, and learn about your personality. Writing a well-researched cover letter shows employers that you're motivated and passionate about the position you're applying for. It should effectively sell your skills, experience, and abilities rather than emphasizing what you lack. When including a cover letter as an attachment or copy and pasting it into an email message, make sure to send two copies of each - one in Word format and one in PDF format.
This will ensure that the document is readable. Additionally, avoid clichés that sound good but say very little. Lastly, refrain from talking about salary in your cover letter; there's a time and place for that during the hiring process.