You’ve got a resume with all your experience and skills – so do you actually need a cover letter? You’re not the first person to ask this question. Some people write them, but many don’t. In short, if an application requires a cover letter – you’d better start writing one! If a job doesn’t state you need one – you could skip it… but should you?
If you’re currently applying for a lot of jobs at once, you may feel like you don’t have enough time to write a cover letter for each application. But if it’s not worth your time, why are you applying? Obviously, when applying for a job, the goal is to land an interview. So why not do the absolute most? Writing a cover letter could be your key to standing out.
A lot of people don’t write cover letters. In fact, Zety found that over 50% of job seekers don’t write cover letters (Do I Need a Cover Letter? Are Cover Letters Necessary in 2023 (zety.com)). That means, if you were to submit one, you have a pretty good chance of being noticed in a pile of applications. Remember, everyone’s had to write a cover letter before – we all know it takes time and effort. The person reading it will most likely appreciate your efforts.
It also shows that you have seriously researched and considered the brand or company. This makes your interest in the position a lot more convincing. Show a recruiter that you’re committed and don’t mind going the extra mile when it’s important. You’ll also demonstrate what kind of person you’ll be in the job – dedicated and hard-working.
If you’re applying for your dream job, you’ll be writing a cover letter. You may as well pour your heart out (professionally) and give it your best shot. Demonstrate how well-researched and familiar you are with the company. You can make it obvious how your passion for the role will help you fit into the company culture.
If someone referred you to the role, this could be advantageous. A cover letter is a great way to acknowledge them and potentially increase the chances of a recruiter or hiring manager noticing you. It can essentially work as an endorsement for you and your potential in a role.
Finally, if a job listing requests a cover letter – it’s a no-brainer. Without it, your application may not be dumped immediately, but it certainly won’t be prioritized in a pile of applications that did include cover letters. The person responsible for hiring is requesting a cover letter for a reason. Meeting this expectation simply shows respect and initiative.
If you have nothing more to say past your resume, a cover letter may just annoy the person responsible for reading the applications. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy. Don’t make them read a paragraph-structured version of your resume in your cover letter. There are simply too many resources online to help you write a cover letter for someone to forgive this error.
If a job application doesn’t have the option to attach a cover letter, you essentially don’t have to write one. However, researching who is responsible for hiring for this job vacancy and contacting them via LinkedIn or email could truly blow them away. This could really boost your application.
If you have no intention of customizing a cover letter – don’t bother writing one. Finding a template on Google and rushing the process is not only a waste of time, but it could also jeopardize your application. This isn’t the recruiter or hiring manager’s first rodeo. They’ll know if you didn’t write it yourself as any personalized cover letter will demonstrate prior research.
Applying for jobs is time-consuming. We all know how tedious it feels to spend what seems like forever on job applications, only to enter the disheartening unknown limbo as you wait for a reply. Having a template cover letter could make the process more efficient. But don’t just use that template and send it to everyone – the point of a cover letter is to explain why you’re interested in this specific role.
Customize it for the company and even for the person reading it. Their information may be offered in the job listing. If not, do some Googling or search for the company’s hiring team on LinkedIn. Addressing the letter to an actual person by name will sound significantly more authentic.
The body of the cover letter will explain why they should consider you for the position. Research the company and what they stand for to align it with your values. Do they practice fair trade and ethical production? Explain how that supports your consumer desires and personal passions. If you’ve been a fan of the company for years – tell them! Ensure you incorporate the keywords they’ve used in the job listing.
Make the hiring team interested in talking to you. Write an honest and raw cover letter while maintaining a professional tone. Though it requires more effort, this could be the factor that separates you from others. What if it lands you your dream job?