Do You Really Need A Cover Letter?

Social Media Producer/Writer: Danielle Germain (@daniellegermain_)

Are you currently seeking new roles and opportunities?

During the application process have you found yourself asking: “Do I really need a cover letter?”

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According to various studies, it’s been reported a lot of recruiters say that cover letters aren’t nearly as important as the resume. Some recruiters even openly admit that they don’t read cover letters at all.

However: the answer is always yes; if there is a prompt (or optional section) to submit a cover letter on the application, you should always submit a cover letter alongside your resume.

*Fun Fact* Many applicants are encouraged to create one generic cover letter for multiple jobs and tailor that cover letter for the specific role desired.

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*Fun Fact* A cover letter is an important component of the decision-making process among 83% of hiring managers, recruiters, and HR staff. 77% of recruiters will give preference to candidates who did send a cover letter.

Why Should You Include A Cover Letter: 

  1. Most job openings require you to submit a cover letter. Recruiters will definitely read cover letters if they’re on the fence for a candidate. Failing to submit one when it’s required will be a red flag.
  2. A cover letter shows that you’ve put in the extra effort. 
  3. A cover letter can set you apart from other candidates. 

When Not to Include A Cover Letter: 

  1. The job opening doesn’t require one. 
  2. You haven’t submitted a customizable template tailored to the position of choice.
  3. There is no place to upload one on the application platform.

When You Should Put Extra Finesse Into A Cover Letter: 

  1. You have important information to add (that doesn’t fit within the constraints of your resume) 
  2. There’s a personal connection/referral.
  3. You have been a previous hire within the company. 
  4. It’s your dream job.

4 Tips For A Concise And Clean Cover Letter: 

  1. Keep it short. One page, three-four, four sentenced paragraphs. The optimal length for a cover letter is between 250-400 words long.
  2. Follow submission instructions. In the job description, look out for specifics on the cover letter format (Word or PDF), fonts and margins, and content (such as which sections or information to include).
  3. Proofread your cover letter. Once you’re done writing, make sure your cover letter doesn’t have any grammar or spelling mistakes. Try to avoid sounding robotic and keep your cover letter unique to you so you can stand out from others who may be applying.
  4. Use action verbs. To make your achievements stand out, use action verbs.

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With such an overwhelming majority of recruiters and career coaches highlighting the importance of cover letters, it would seem the best career move for job-seekers to send a cover letter alongside their resume, every time. 

*All photos utilized have been downloaded from Unsplash.

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