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Do I Need a Cover Letter? Cover All Your Bases with These Tips

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Are you looking to find a new job? Does writing a different cover letter for each sound like too much? Thinking, “Do I need a cover letter?” Learn here.

To cover or not to cover? That is the question…

In today’s business environment, cover letters have become a common part of job applications. But they aren’t necessarily included in every job listing.

So, do I need a cover letter or not?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the times when a cover letter is mandatory. And there are times when you may be able to get by without one.

When You Need A Cover Letter

Does the job listing specifically state that you should send a cover letter? If so, you need to send one. No questions, just do it.

An HR rep in charge of weeding through resumes will probably disregard any that don’t have cover letters. Especially if it was laid out as a requirement of the application. So don’t get tossed in the weed pile because you want to cut corners on your application.

Another situation where you’ll always want to include a cover letter is when you need to tell more of your story. Your resume isn’t the place for long, detailed sentences explaining your background. Resume line items should be short and sweet.

Online cover letter

But in a case where you have the experience that you consider specifically important to this job, a cover letter is the best place to explain that. Introduce yourself in further detail and sell them on the fact that you’re perfect for this job because of A, B, and C.

Cover letters are also a great way to build a relationship with the HR rep who might hire you. But to do that, you need to create your letter the right way.

Don’t go with a stiff, formal letter. Search online for a cover letter example and tweak that sample to make it your own. Show them that you’ve researched their company and give them a taste of your personality.

What if the application gives you the option to send a cover letter? In this case, we recommend you go ahead and send one. It looks better and shows that you’re willing to put in the extra work to get the job.

When You Don’t Need a Cover Letter

Does the job listing specifically state that you shouldn’t send a cover letter? If so, don’t send one!

This is another example of how an HR rep might want to see how well you follow the rules. Sometimes they don’t want the hassle of the additional letter. And sending one anyway won’t work in your favor in that situation.

If you’re filling out an online application and there’s no space to send a cover letter, you can probably skip it. If the employer wanted cover letters, they would have set up their application to include the option.

If you know that the HR person won’t read cover letters, then you could opt out of sending one. But this is a tricky situation because you must be sure. If you’re wrong about this, your application may get discarded.

Do I Need a Cover Letter? When In Doubt, Cover Your Bases

So, back to the question, “Do I need a cover letter?” The answer is yes, in most cases you do.

Cover your bases and create a dazzling cover letter that’s easy to read, shows your unique personality, and highlights your strengths. Then you’ve got your letter ready to go no matter what the requirements are on the job listing.

Need more business tips? Check out our business section for more helpful articles on all things business!

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