Ever ponder the purpose of a cover letter? Doesn’t a resume tell employers everything they need to know? Why do they want you to reiterate the information in a cover letter? They don’t!

The purpose of a cover letter is to give employers a glimpse of the person behind the resume. A good cover letter will give them a sense of your personality and an idea of how you fit in their organization. While a resume provides a factual snapshot of your skills and experience, a cover letter will add depth, credibility and individuality to the mix—and what you say may just tip the scales in your favor!

The key to writing a compelling cover letter is to hone in on a few powerful points that will grab the hiring manager’s attention. Before you begin, review the job description and ask yourself, “Why am I the best person for this job?” Think of relevant examples that demonstrate your ability to perform specific tasks well and expound upon them. The more effectively you ‘sell your skills’ and differentiate yourself from other candidates, the more memorable and interview-worthy you will be!

Cover letters can also provide insight and explanation into sensitive information that your resume cannot, such as lapses in employment, career changes and layoffs. Just keep an upbeat tone and stay positive in your explanation.

One final note on cover letters: Make sure it’s concise and grammatically correct. A quick read of your cover letter will speak volumes about your communication skills—an important requirement for most jobs. So, be succinct with your points and don’t blow it with poor spelling or grammar.

Remember, your cover letter should complement your resume, not replicate it—make sure it’s moving you one step closer to an interview!