Let’s cut to the chase: are cover letters necessary?
No, they’re not. But they’re helpful simply because they can improve your chances of getting the job by:
- Explaining what makes you the best candidate
- Adding more context to your resume
- Giving hiring teams insight into your personality
Some people are against sending cover letters for understandable reasons. After all, why bother writing one and going the extra mile since:
- Your resume already has the main details hiring teams need to know
- You’ve already shared your portfolio and all of your work samples
- What if you get ghosted?
Creating a resume is a mission in itself. Isn’t it a bit too much for companies to ask applicants for more of their time by telling them to write a cover letter?
All of the above makes sense.
However, we’d still suggest sending a cover letter along with your resume to maximize your chances of an interview. If you’ve already made the commitment to create a resume for the company, you may as well go all the way.
Before you click away though, stick around so we can share with you the 5 times you should especially write a cover letter as well as 4 times to skip it. We’ll also show you how to create a personalized cover letter in less than 60 seconds using AI.
Why Use a Cover Letter?
They can increase your chances of getting an interview. That’s more than enough reason to send one if you really wanted to secure the job you’re applying for.
Cover letters are an asset because it lets you express your interest to the hiring manager. Applicants can write more about how their career objectives, personality traits, skills, and experience make them the right fit for the company.
Is It Still Okay to Not Have a Cover Letter?
It’s okay to not have one if you’re not too fussed with the job you’re applying for in the first place.
If you’re serious about the opportunity, then you’d want to maximize your chances. In other words, you should always submit a well-written cover letter when you can. It doesn’t mean you can’t get the job without sending one. But it’s a lost opportunity for sharing your backstory and expressing your passion or motivation to exceed expectations.
That said, there are 5 times when you should treat cover letters as mandatory.
5 Times When Cover Letters Are Mandatory
1. It’s a Requirement
Some companies will include instructions for sending cover letters in their job description. Or, the recruiter will ask you to write one and submit it along with your resume. In either case, it means you need a cover letter.
Not sending a cover letter when it’s a requirement will disqualify you from the hiring process.
2. You’re Applying to Your Dream Job
Seeing yourself at your dream job at your dream company should be motivating enough to make you want to send a cover letter. Moreover, this gives you a point to talk about. Show that you’re the most passionate and self-motivated person applying for the role.
Even if you’re not the most skilled person on the list, one cover letter tip to position yourself as an ideal candidate is to highlight your potential and the impact you would have on the company culture.
3. You Have Connections
Do you know anyone working for the company you’re applying to? Or, are you applying because someone referred you to the job opening?
Here’s some examples of mutual connections to mention:
- A current employee
- Former employees or managers
- Teachers or lecturers
- Clients you’ve worked with
Telling the company you have mutual connections can make hiring managers more lenient in considering you for the position. Plus, it’s a good conversation starter. Add this to the outline of your cover letter so you won’t forget to mention it.
4. You Have Experience With the Company
Having your own personal experience allows you to tailor your application a step further.
Some examples of having relevant experience with the company you’re applying to are being a loyal customer yourself or meeting the team at an event. Mentioning things like this in your cover letter can help you break the ice.
It’s also a great way to imply your interest and enthusiasm, which is helpful for internship job opportunities.
5. You Have Little to No Experience
Whether you’re a student or a seasoned professional making a career change, cover letters are your best friend. And for those of you with employment gaps, this is the time to address and explain them.
You might be surprised, but there’s advantages to having little to no experience in the field. One of those advantages is that it’s easier for the company to shape you as one of their own since you won’t have many work habits that will need to change.
Another way cover letters help you close the gap between you and someone else that’s experienced is by proving that you align better with the company culture.
4 Times Cover Letters Aren’t Mandatory
Not sending a cover letter along with your ATS resume is better than sending a poorly written cover letter. In fact, a bad cover letter hurts your chances.
However, they’re not always necessary.
1. You’re Told Not to Send One
The job description might include specific instructions telling you what to do and what not to do as a test to see if you’re paying attention. One of those instructions could be to not send a cover letter.
Or, the recruiter will tell you not to send one. Either way, follow the guidelines.
2. There’s Nothing to Add to the Conversation
Repeating what you’ve already said on your resume defeats the purpose of a cover letter. If there’s nothing new to add to the conversation, you’re better off leaving it out.
Here’s a few examples of what to include in a cover letter:
- The process behind your biggest achievements
- A company value that you resonate most with
- How you became passionate in your field
3. There’s No Option to Upload a Cover Letter
When you’re applying through an online application, follow the steps provided.
However, cover letters can be skipped if there’s no option to upload them as a PDF or Word document. For clarification, ask your prospective employer if there’s still a way to submit your cover letter and if they would accept it.
4. Deadlines Are Tight
No cover letter is better than a bad generic cover letter.
Hiring managers can sniff out when candidates have rushed their applications and when candidates have taken the time to write one that’s thoughtful. Even a cover letter that’s half a page long but personalized is more impactful compared to a full one-page cover letter full of fluff.
Instead of trying to jot everything down, get inspiration from proven cover letter templates.
Create a Tailored Cover Letter in Less Than 60 Seconds With Rezi’s AI Writer
60 seconds might sound like an exaggeration but really it’s an understatement since it can be as quick as only 10 seconds.
Here’s how it works:
- Enter the company name.
- Write the job position/title you’re applying for.
- Select a previous job position/title to highlight.
- Press “AI Writer Ready”.
Then that’s it.
So if it's that fast and simple to create a thoughtful cover letter that fits your work history, what’s stopping you from getting one done today?
Or go ahead and watch how Rezi’s AI cover letter works in the short clip below.
Cover Letters Are Worth the Effort
Always write a cover letter when you can. Once you see potential employers reaching out to you for the next steps, you’ll be glad you made the decision to send one. More often than not, companies accept them even if they aren't in the job description.
I understand it’s another commitment but it doesn’t have to be. At least, not with Rezi because they take the stress and time factors away from the equation. By speeding up your job search and making the initial job application process easier, you can pour more of your efforts into getting ready for the interview.