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  • Writer's pictureKeith Stewart

When to Submit a Cover Letter

Cover letters are a hot topic when it comes to applying for jobs. There are as many career experts who say to submit them as there are who say they’re outdated and useless. I, for one, and a HUGE proponent of the cover letter. A cover letter is your opportunity to brag about your accomplishments and skills in a way that should be crafted to fit the job you are applying for. It helps you stand out to hiring managers who are reviewing many resumes that begin to look alike after a while!


However, if you’re on the fence about when to submit a cover letter, here’s a few helpful scenarios on why you should:


  1. Job Application Requires It: If the job posting specifically asks for a cover letter, make sure to include one. Some employers use cover letters as a way to gauge your communication skills, attention to detail, and interest in the position.

  2. To Express Genuine Interest: Even if a cover letter is not explicitly required, it can be beneficial to include one to express your genuine interest in the position and the company. This can set you apart from other candidates.

  3. Addressing Career Gaps or Changes: If you have gaps in your employment history or are making a career change, a cover letter provides an opportunity to explain these situations and showcase how your skills and experiences align with the job.

  4. Highlighting Key Achievements: A cover letter allows you to go beyond the resume and highlight specific achievements, experiences, or skills that make you a strong candidate for the position.

  5. Networking or Referral: If you are applying for a job through a referral or if you've had a networking connection within the company, a cover letter can help establish a personal connection and mention the referral.

  6. Customizing for Specific Positions: When applying for multiple jobs, it's a good idea to customize your cover letter for each position. Tailoring your letter to the specific job and company shows that you've done your research and are serious about the application.

  7. Showcasing Your Writing Skills: Some employers may request a cover letter to assess your written communication skills. Use this opportunity to showcase your ability to express yourself clearly and professionally.

Always carefully read the job posting and follow any instructions regarding the application process. If a cover letter is not explicitly mentioned, my suggestion is to submit one if you believe it will add value to your application. However, keep it concise, focused, and relevant to the job you're applying for, and always spell-check for grammar.


Good Luck, and Happy Hunting!

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