You are on fire! You:
✅ Found a job posting you're excited about
✅ Secured solid references
✅ Wrote a stellar resume
And then you notice another line on the job posting:
Please include a cover letter with your application.
This is your opportunity to showcase your skills! 😎
What's The Point?
You've already spent time tailoring your resume, so why the cover letter? Writing a cover letter for your application can:
Demonstrate your serious interest in the position
Explain areas of concern (eg. resume gaps)
Allow your personality to shine through
Provide employers with more robust information to make their hiring decisions
And most importantly,
Apply your skills and achievements (that you already included in your resume) to this specific role
Is It Really Worth The Effort?
You'll need to use your judgement on a case-by-case basis.
In a 2021 survey of 200 hiring managers, resumelab.com found that:
If the cover letter is optional, 35% of candidates attach a cover letter to their application.
If the cover letter is required, only 38% of candidates submit a cover letter.
From the hiring managers' perspective:
83% agree that cover letters are important for their hiring decision.
Only 13% would consider an application without a cover letter if it was required by the posting.
So generally speaking, including a cover letter will help your chances.
So When Should I Skip The Cover Letter?
Sometimes writing a cover letter could be a waste of your precious time.
Don't include one if:
The job posting explicitly asks for no cover letters
An online submission system does not provide a way to upload a cover letter
You don't have the time to write a good one and the cover letter is optional
A poorly-written or generic cover letter can do more harm than good, so be sure yours is in good shape before submitting it.
What Would You Suggest?
Meet Matilda! She's actively applying to jobs.
She comes across a great opportunity while searching online, but the deadline is tomorrow. She'll have to work fast! The job posting notes:
Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume and a cover letter to email@example.com.
Matilda asks you for advice on what she should do. Select all that apply!
A. "Be sure to focus on your resume first - that's the most important part!"
B. "Ugh, don't bother. It's not worth it at this point."
C. "Call the hiring manager and ask for a deadline extension!"
D. "Can you work from an existing cover letter so you're not starting from scratch?"
Select all that apply!
Found a job to apply for?