Are Cover Letters Useless? (Career Advice)

If you’re like me, your inbox is flooded with emails from recruiters and hiring managers who want to know what they can do to help you land your dream job. 

And if you’ve been away from the workforce for a while, it can be difficult to figure out whether these requests are useful or just annoying spam. In this post, I’ll answer some of the most pressing questions about cover letters so that when one comes through your inbox, you’ll know exactly what to do with it!

Why Job Seekers Are Done Writing Useless Cover Letters
A well-written cover letter can make a big difference in your job search.
Despite the rise of online job applications, cover letters are still relevant.
Using personal pronouns in your cover letter can help create a more engaging message.
Cover letters are necessary to make a good impression on potential employers.
Avoid including irrelevant or negative information in your cover letter.

Are Cover Letters Useless?

Cover letters are not useless. They can be one of the most important tools in your job search toolkit. They’re a great way to show that you take the time to research a potential employer and demonstrate your commitment to doing good work for them.

But are cover letters really necessary anymore? The answer is “yes!” While some companies may want you to submit your resume without a cover letter, this doesn’t mean that it’s not important for you to include one anyway. If done correctly, it could help get you an interview or even a job offer.

A well-written cover letter can make a huge difference in your job search. Don’t underestimate the power of this document. Check out our article on the importance of cover letters to learn more.

What Can You Say In A Cover Letter That You Couldn’t Say In Your Resume?

Just like your resume, cover letters should be tailored to each application. You can add things like:

  • Why you are interested in the position and why it’s a good fit for you
  • How your skills and experience align with the position requirements
  • Why you want to work for the company (if relevant)
  • Why do you want to work for that particular team (if relevant)

Is A Cover Letter Necessary?

Yes, a cover letter is necessary. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and highlight how you’re a good fit for the job.

A cover letter is also a way to explain gaps in your resume or demonstrate why you are qualified for the role even though your experience isn’t listed on paper. You can provide context here by discussing past projects or roles that aren’t mentioned in detail on LinkedIn but demonstrate skills needed for this position that’s where the cover letter becomes especially useful!

Should I Address My Cover Letter To The Person Who Wrote The Job Posting?

This is a good question. There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to address your cover letter to the person who wrote the job posting. First, you may not have access to the same information about who will read or review your application that they do. 

Second, addressing your cover letter to “Dear Hiring Manager” doesn’t necessarily mean that your response will be read by that person it might go through several layers of people before getting into someone’s hands (and even then, it could get thrown out). 

Thirdly, if you are unsure whether or not you should be addressing this person by name, it’s better to err on the side of caution and address them as “Dear Hiring Manager” rather than risk looking unprofessional by using their name incorrectly in an email subject line or signature block that isn’t intended for them anyway.

If you don’t know who wrote the job posting but want some direction anyway (because no one has told him/her yet), then feel free also include some sorta generic thing like: “I am very interested in working at Company X because.” 

This way everyone gets something out of reading whatever response gets sent back – both parties get the information they need while still maintaining privacy concerns around disclosing personal details like names and contact info etcetera.”

Despite the rise of online job applications, cover letters are still an important part of the job search process. In fact, they can help you stand out from other applicants. Check out our article on the relevance of cover letters to learn more.

How Long Should My Cover Letter Be?

On the other hand, if your cover letter is longer than one page, it probably needs to be shorter. The goal of the cover letter is not to tell the hiring manager everything about yourself it’s simply a way for you to introduce yourself and explain why you’d be an asset to their company.

The ideal length of a cover letter is one page in length. If yours is more than two pages long, it seems like you’re trying too hard to impress the reader with how much they should want to hire you (and probably won’t get hired).

If your cover letter is shorter than one page though… well… then there’s no excuse for that. 

The way most people write them is pretty formulaic: introduce yourself with some details about who you are and what job opportunity(s) interest you; talk about why that job would be perfect for you (i.e., “Your company does !”); close with a thank-you and contact information for follow-up purposes (i.e., “I look forward hearing from”).

How Do I Email A Cover Letter And Resume?

You can send both your cover letter and resume in the body of the email. You should not attach them as a PDF, nor should you send them in separate emails. If you don’t know how to do this, ask your IT department or hire someone to help you with it if needed.

Do I Need To Write Cover Letters For Every Job That Interests Me?

You should apply for every job that interests you. If you don’t apply, you won’t get an interview and that’s the only way to know whether or not a job is right for you.

You should apply for jobs that are a good fit for your skills and experience. If it’s something completely outside of what you’ve done before, it may be worth calling the company first to find out more about what they do so that you can make sure it’s something that interests and excites you.

You should apply for jobs in which

  • you are qualified (i.e., meet their minimum requirements)
  • and/or have relevant industry experience related to the role

Are cover letters necessary in today’s job market? The answer is yes, especially if you want to make a good impression on potential employers. Check out our article on why cover letters are necessary to learn more.

What Do I Say In My First Paragraph Of A Cover Letter?

Here’s what you want to do in this first paragraph:

Introduce yourself! This is where you’ll state your name, any relevant designations (e.g., “Ms.,” “Dr.”), and your contact information.

Mention the job title. When applying for a job that requires a specific skill set or background (or both), it’s important to mention the role you’re applying for at least once in your cover letter so it doesn’t get overlooked by whoever reads through them. 

Think of this as an opportunity to highlight why they should be excited about having you come work with them and don’t worry too much if they’re not interested in hiring someone with those qualifications anymore; after all, we’ve all had plenty of jobs that didn’t require us to use our strengths!

Mention the company name and how it came about learning about them: Did someone refer them? Did their website pique your interest? Be sure these tidbits are included somewhere within the first few sentences so readers can easily find out more about why exactly YOU might want

How Do I Ask About Salary In My Cover Letter?

It’s tempting to hop right into the discussion of salary, but try not to. If you mention it early on, it will come off as an attempt at manipulation: “We both know that this is a job that pays well and I deserve a lot of money, so let’s get on with it!” Instead of diving in at the deep end, take some time to get to know one another first.

Letting your interviewer know that you value their time means showing up prepared and ready for your interview and not being late or unprepared for any questions they might ask. It also means arriving in a professional outfit (no jeans or flip-flops) and leaving behind all electronic devices. Don’t stare too long at their office building; look away if someone else is looking at you!

Remember: If they’ve asked you back again after your initial interview then they’re interested in hiring someone like you so don’t worry about blowing it by asking too many questions during the second meeting either!

Using personal pronouns in your cover letter can help you create a more engaging and persuasive message. Find out how to do it effectively with our article on using personal pronouns in cover letters.

What If There Are No Instructions For Submitting A Cover Letter With A Job Application?

If you’re applying for a job and there are no instructions for submitting a cover letter, go ahead and send one anyway. The worst-case scenario is that it will be ignored, and even that would be better than having never sent it at all.

If you don’t submit a cover letter with your resume when there are no instructions to do so, then you won’t have any chance of getting your resume read.

Do I Have To Submit A Cover Letter When Applying For An Internal Position At My Company?

If you are applying for an internal position within your company, you should include a cover letter. This is because it lets the hiring manager know why you want to work there and what makes you qualified for the position.

If you are applying for an external position at another company, do not include a cover letter. The employer will likely be able to view your resume online or on paper, so there’s no need to send it again with one additional sheet of paper cluttering up their inbox (not that they would ever see this!).

Should I Mention Other Jobs I’m Applying For In My Cover Letter?

If you are applying for multiple jobs, it is okay to mention the positions you are applying for in your cover letter. If you have applied for only one job, then don’t mention other openings on your resume or the cover letter.

What If I Don’t Have The Exact Job Title In The Job Posting On My Resume?

If you don’t have the exact title in your resume, the best thing to do is simply use the title that best describes your experience. If you’re unsure, feel free to contact the hiring manager and ask them which title would be most appropriate for your skillset.

When you are trying to find an appropriate job title for yourself, look at what responsibilities are listed in the job description. This will help steer you toward a great fit! If all else fails (and let’s be honest it will), just ask them!

What Should I Include In My Online Profile Instead Of A Traditional Resume And Cover Letter?

The answer is that you should include links to all of these things in your online profile.

Here’s what they look like on LinkedIn:

Your resume. You should have the text of your entire resume on the site, and ideally a URL where it can be downloaded in PDF format.

Your portfolio (if you have one). You should provide a link here as well if possible, although it may not be necessary if there isn’t much content or if it’s available elsewhere online (such as through social media accounts linked from this profile).

Links to all social media accounts where you’ve posted images or videos relating directly to the job application (such as Instagram or YouTube profiles). This way recruiters can see how well-known an applicant is within certain communities or even just understand who they’re dealing with based on their online presence alone!

Can I Use One General Cover Letter Or Do I Need To Customize It For Each Position?

The best approach is to craft one cover letter and use it for all positions.

Why? Because each time you send a new resume, you’re going to have to rewrite your cover letter, which takes time and effort that could be put into other things (like getting more coffee or playing with the cats).

The same goes for crafting multiple versions of your resume you don’t want an employer seeing how long it took you to come up with three different variations on how much experience you have in whatever niche they need. 

Plus, if they see that there are different versions of your resume floating around out there, they might wonder why there are differences between them and what that means about how much effort went into each one.

If you’re not sure how to address your cover letter, ‘To Whom It May Concern’ may seem like a safe option. However, there are better ways to address your letter to make a good impression on potential employers. Check out our article on addressing a cover letter to learn more.

How Do I Format A Digital Copy Of My Resume And Accompanying Documents When Submitting Them Via Email Or Other Online Portal?

If you are sending a digital copy of your resume, then be sure to keep it in a format that will be readable by the recipient. The best way to do this is by using a word processing program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs or similar tools. You can also use online resume builders if you don’t have access to either of those programs.

If you want advice on how best to write your cover letter and other documents, consider using a professional resume writing service instead of trying to do it yourself.

If The Job Posting Says Not To Submit A Cover Letter, Should I Still Apply If They’ve Requested One?

As with everything, it depends.

If the job posting says not to submit a cover letter and you are still interested in applying, then yes! (This is usually the case when companies say they only want cover letters for specific positions.)

 Even if you don’t meet all of the qualifications or were not able to find any information on how they want their application submitted, submitting an application shows initiative and interest that could help make up for other shortcomings.

If the job posting says not to submit a cover letter and you’re not exactly sure why but want to apply anyway, well, maybe think about rethinking your decision. 

As discussed above, there’s no reason not to submit one if requested but if there’s nothing about why it would be beneficial for them or helpful for your chances at getting hired, I’d suggest taking another look at your interests before putting in time on something so useless!


To answer the question of whether or not cover letters are useless, I would say that they are not. Cover letters allow you to briefly introduce yourself and why you think you’d be a great fit for a particular position without having to repeat all of that information in your resume. 

In addition, some employers may prefer reading through cover letters before reviewing resumes or applications because it allows them more time to decide if someone wants the job before investing more energy into interviewing them.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you learn more about writing effective cover letters:

Are Cover Letters Necessary? (Zety): This article discusses the importance of cover letters and when they are necessary in the job search process.

What Not to Put in a Cover Letter (Indeed): This article provides tips on what to avoid including in your cover letter, such as irrelevant information or negative comments about your previous employer.

Things Not to Include in Your Cover Letter (The Balance Careers): This article lists several things you should avoid including in your cover letter, such as salary expectations or personal information.


Q: What is the purpose of a cover letter?

A: A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume and introduces you to potential employers. Its purpose is to highlight your qualifications and convince the employer to invite you for an interview.

Q: Should I always include a cover letter with my job application?

A: It depends on the job posting and the company’s requirements. Some job postings specifically request a cover letter, while others may not mention it at all. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to include one just in case.

Q: What should I include in my cover letter?

A: Your cover letter should include an introduction, a brief overview of your qualifications and experience, and a closing statement expressing your interest in the job and thanking the employer for their consideration.

Q: Can I use the same cover letter for every job application?

A: While it may be tempting to use a generic cover letter for every job you apply to, it’s important to tailor your letter to the specific job and company you’re applying to. This shows that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the position.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter?

A: Some common mistakes to avoid include using generic language, including irrelevant information, and making spelling or grammar errors. It’s also important to avoid negative comments about your previous employer or sounding too desperate for the job.