In a 2020 survey of 236 hiring managers and recruiters, ResumeGo found that 87% of employers read cover letters. Yet, according to a study by CareerBuilder, only 44% of job seekers include a cover letter in their application. If most employers are reading cover letters and less than half of applicants are including them, adding a cover letter to your next application could increase your chances of getting the interview exponentially.
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the employer and encourage them to read your resume. A cover letter isn’t a reiteration of your resume; instead, it is a precursor. A cover letter should invite the employer to read your resume by demonstrating your connection to the job and company at hand. This means that for every job you apply to, you should be writing a new cover letter.
A cover letter is a way for you to communicate your interest in applying for the job, explain how your work history or professional skills would benefit that role, and demonstrate how your values and goals align with that organization.
If you’re serious about getting the position you’re applying for, a tailored cover letter will increase the likelihood of that happening. A well-written and targeted cover letter allows you to sell yourself to an employer in a narrative format and show why you are the ideal candidate.
Here are some important reasons you need a cover letter in your next job application:
While your goal should always be including a cover letter, there are some situations when it’s not necessary.
Don’t include a cover letter if:
Need help writing your next cover letter? Our article How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter outlines what makes a great cover letter, provides examples, and shows you how to write one.