Do You Need A Cover Letter? You're sitting on your computer, ready to upload your Resume for a job you've had an eye on. The moment you are ready to complete the process, you see a line that says: Submit Cover Letter (optional). Now you're wondering, if it's optional, do you even need to submit a Cover Letter? Or in some scenarios, if the company does not request a Cover Letter, should you still submit one?
To answer both of those questions briefly: Yes!
You Should Always Keep A Cover Letter on Hand
Submitting a Cover Letter with your Resume is the best decision in most cases. It provides you with an opportunity to generate the employer's interest in reading your Resume. Also, a well-written Cover Letter helps distinguish your application and shows that you took a step further to demonstrate your interest in the company.
Cover letters allow you to show the company that you are the right person for the job. Even more important, a Cover Letter gives you the opportunity to share why you are applying to work at "X" company, how you can help them achieve their goals, and why you're the perfect fit!
In certain cases, a Cover Letter can help you explain tricky situations, such as a gap in employment, a relocation, or a career transition. When this is the case, being able to (briefly) explain the details in a Cover Letter will help the Hiring Manager or Recruiter have a a better understanding of your situation. Especially since these situations are difficult to explain in a Professional Resume.
Is it True That Most Hiring Managers and Recruiters Don't Read Cover Letters?
I am sure you have heard the rumor that Hiring Managers and Recruiters do not read Cover Letters. Allow me to clarify.
Hiring Managers and Recruiters are extremely busy professionals. They are often tasked with reading hundreds of thousands of documents to find candidates to fill open or new positions. Many times, when a hiring managers or recruiters pulls up a document, they might skim the text. That is why it is important to have a professionally written Cover Letter that will include elements that can quickly catch the attention of hiring managers/recruiters.
When You Shouldn't Submit A Cover Letter
Some job boards and employment websites do not provide a way for you to upload or post a Cover Letter. The website might not have a button or link to upload the document, which would prevent you from submitting a Cover Letter for that particular job. In this specific situation, you will not need to submit one.
Also, when the company specifically states the required documents (ex: Resume, Application, and References) and does not list a Cover Letter, do not send one. The company has listed the documents that they are requiring and it would not be a good idea in this instance to add extra documents they have not requested.
Finally, if the company specifically states that they do not want you to send a Cover Letter...please, do not send one.
More Cover Letter Help
Career Services by Elle understand the difficulties that can come with composing a quality, professional Cover Letter. That is why we are here to help! Check out our Targeted Cover Letter Service. Our Targeted Cover Letter Service is perfect for the career professional who is looking to apply to a specific job. The Targeted Cover Letter provides a powerful integration of your personal achievements, knowledge, and skills, and aligns them with the company's mission and background.
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