Should I include a cover letter when I apply for a position?
Importance of Your Cover Letter
You should always include a cover letter when applying for positions.
Including a cover letter with your resume when applying for jobs is important for three reasons:
1. To demonstrate that you understand the hiring process and can convey a professional image.
By submitting a cover letter, you will stand out from other candidates that don’t take the time to include a cover letter when applying to the position you are interested in pursuing.
2. To generate enough interest in you to cause an employer to take time to read your more detailed resume.
Some employers will review a cover letter prior to looking at a resume to decide whether or not to read a candidate’s resume.
3. To highlight a key qualification or accomplishment that you possess which was called out in the requirements for the position you are seeking.
Review the job posting to determine key points to highlight in your cover letter.
Use Statements that Demonstrate Skills
Rather than including generic phases in your cover letter that have become meaningless like leadership or time management, use statements in your cover letter that demonstrates those skills such as:
Lead cross-functional teams of up to 15 members, overseeing as many as 5 projects simultaneously.
Use Your Cover Letter to Highlight Information in Your Resume
By highlighting how you meet an employer’s requirements in your cover letter, you immediately begin to establish yourself as a qualified candidate for the job.
With today’s online job search and hiring process, you won’t know upfront whether your cover letter will be read at all or if it will be read after your resume has been automatically screened and scored by ATS software.
Since you don’t know when or if your cover letter will be read, you only want to include in your cover letter information about your experience that is also included in your resume.
You don’t want to use your cover letter to introduce new relevant information that would help you score well as a candidate for your position since your resume is what will be screened and scored by an ATS, not your cover letter.
Additional Job Search Resources
See a Cover Letter Example