How Important Are Cover Letters in This Year?

A cover letter can take up time and effort when you’re applying for a job, but are cover letters really necessary nowadays?

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Are Cover Letters Necessary

If you look at just about any piece of career advice, you’ll likely see recruiters talk about how important a cover letter is to your hiring success. However, it’s also true that writing a cover letter can take some time (on top of the time it takes to write a resume), and that means it can be tempting to forgo the process, especially if you’re not shooting for an ultra-important position like your dream job. But can a great cover letter really make the difference in a hiring decision? How does a prospective employer see your cover letter? Here’s what you should know about writing a cover letter.

What Do Hiring Managers Really Think About Cover Letters?

In general, (and this is no shock), hiring managers really like cover letters. Sure, your resume gives information about your relevant experience, what you’ve learned on the job, and your overall skills. However, a cover letter gives more insight into your background, your personality, and the ways you believe you fit the job. The perfect cover letter helps the manager connect your skills and experiences with the position, and provides a personal connection that transcends the words on the page.


The Benefits of a Cover Letter

There are many benefits to writing a cover letter, and refusing to write one means you’re missing out on all of them. Here are just a few of the benefits that you gain simply by submitting a cover letter:

  • Gives the hiring manager a better idea of who you are
  • Allows you to request a call to action (e.g., scheduling a job interview)
  • Helps you showcase your absolute best achievements
  • Puts you ahead of anyone who didn’t submit a cover letter
  • Tells the manager that you really care about the job

As you can see, that’s a lot of benefits to miss out on when you’re job hunting, even if it might take an extra 15 to 20 minutes to write a letter.
If you need cover letter help, don’t panic. This is a skill you can learn, and there are plenty of resources available to help you learn it. You can find cover letter examples and help with the cover letter format through the ResumeHelp cover letter builder. Our builder walks you through every step of writing a good cover letter, from choosing fonts to adding your contact information to fixing common cover letter mistakes. Job seekers need all the cover letter tips they can get, and with ResumeHelp, you can get all the benefits of cover letters with none of the hassle.

When Not To Submit a Cover Letter

Even though cover letters are usually recommended, there are a few situations where you might not want to submit one. Typically, you’ll only want to forgo a cover letter in these cases:

  • You’re applying online, and the application doesn’t have an option for a cover letter
  • The job description specifically states not to submit a cover letter

If the job description doesn’t mention anything about cover letters, err on the side of caution and include one. It might make the application process a little bit longer, but in the current job market, it’s better to show your potential employer that you care enough about getting the job to apply with a cover letter.

FAQ: Are Cover Letters Necessary?

Q: Do I need a cover letter template?

A cover letter template helps you create a professional and effective cover letter. The ResumeHelp cover letter builder features several templates to fit any kind of job, with job-specific suggestions from career experts who know exactly how to catch a hiring manager’s eye. These templates make sure your cover letter looks as great as possible.

Q: If I already have a resume, why do I need a cover letter?

A resume gives a hiring manager an understanding of your past experiences and skills. However, in a cover letter, you provide more details about how you use those skills and how you can apply them to the company if they hire you. The cover letter bridges the gap between the resume and the hiring manager, allowing them to really see why you’re a great candidate. Plus, you’re also able to include a call to action, actually asking the hiring manager for the interview. A great job application includes both.

Additionally, even if the hiring manager never reads the cover letter, a cover letter can still showcase that you care about the job. Just seeing that you’ve attached a cover letter to the application makes the hiring manager realize you care enough to spend those extra few minutes writing and sending in a cover letter.

Q: What happens if you don’t include a cover letter?

Unless the job description for a specific job states that it requires a cover letter, not including a cover letter typically won’t take you out of the list of potential interviewees. However, do you really want to risk not getting through to the next level simply because you didn’t want to take a few extra minutes to write a cover letter? Adding a cover letter increases your chances of getting an interview, so it’s always best to add one.

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