Cover letterAll the information is on my resume, do I really need to submit a cover letter?

 I don’t know what to write and am afraid to look weak  by sending a bad cover letter!

The application webpage offers the option to submit a cover letter, but it is not required. Do I still need to send one?

Via phone, LinkedIn, email, etc. I was asked to submit a resume. This doesn’t really call for a cover letter, right?

I need to write a cover letter?

The answer is simple and short. YES!

Here are some thoughts and I think even if only one of them applies it is worth considering writing a cover letter.

1) With too many applications to a position it may be necessary to do a pre-screening of all candidates before their applications are even read. The easiest criteria is completeness of application materials.

2) If the applicant doesn’t have the time or endurance to write a cover letter then who much does she really want the job? What does it say about her level of commitment when she is here?

3) The cover letter is your additional chance to point out why you think you are a good match for the job and/or to describe past achievements or skills you want to emphasize to your new employer.

4) Some jobs require a lot of written communication. The cover letter is a way for employers to see how well you are able to bring your point across.

5) If two candidates are head to head about who gets the interview, then all information is considered and a good cover letter can tip the scale.

6) Even if you met a hiring manager at a conference, LinkedIn or in any other informal situation and were asked to submit a resume even a short cover letter (email) can help to remind him of the occurrence and why he should consider you.

7) The more applicants have applied the more rounds of reviews are necessary before the number is small enough for interviews. Often the final decision is made in meetings where it really helps when there is something to distinguish the candidates from another.  “Bad grammar”, “Typo” , “Tiny print”, “ten pages”, and certainly “No cover letter” won’t make it far, but if there is something extraordinary about a candidate it is often the cover letter where that is noticed. And it sticks.


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