Do Cover Letters Matter? (CAREER Advice)

I know what you’re thinking: do cover letters matter anymore? Well, yes and no. While many employers have moved away from them in favor of automated applications, they’re still the best way to stand out among a sea of applicants. 

A well-written cover letter can make all the difference between getting an interview and not. It’s also a chance for you to demonstrate your writing skills and show that you’ve researched the company and its needs. And if you don’t have one? 

You’re missing out on opportunities to explain why you chose this company over others or build credibility by addressing points from your resume that need further explanation. So yes, cover letters matter – even if there aren’t very many of them anymore!

Ask a Career Advisor | Are Cover Letters Necessary? – YouTube
Cover letters can still make a difference in the job application process.
A well-written cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates.
It is important to customize your cover letter for each job application.
A cover letter should be concise and to the point, typically no longer than one page.
Including a cover letter can demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the position.

You Get To Stand Out In A Sea Of Applicants

It’s also worth noting that when you apply for a job, there are usually hundreds (or even thousands) of other applicants who are interested in the same position. Sometimes it seems like most job postings get more than 1,000 applicants within hours!

To stand out among the crowd and make sure your application gets past the “first round” of judgments by hiring managers, you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart from everyone else. One of those things is writing an effective cover letter.

If you’re wondering whether cover letters are necessary, the answer is yes. A well-written cover letter can make all the difference in getting noticed by a hiring manager. Read our article on how cover letters can help to learn more about why they matter.

You Can Demonstrate Your Writing Skills

We’ll start with the obvious: you show your writing skills by writing a cover letter. This is a chance for you to show your ability to communicate, both in terms of content and style. 

You can demonstrate that you’re able to communicate clearly with a variety of people (from hiring managers to potential coworkers), as well as write formally no matter what position you’re applying for or the industry you’re targeting.

You Can Include Information That Isn’t On Your Resume.

For instance, if you’re applying for a position at a nonprofit organization and have recently completed a volunteer stint in Guatemala helping to build wells for clean water access, you might mention this experience in your cover letter. 

If the job description asks for someone proficient in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint but doesn’t specify what version of each (for example: “2007 or later” vs. “2010 or newer”), it’s helpful to point out which one(s) you know how to use so as not to waste time with basic training.

You Can Make Yourself Sound More Impressive Than You Are

Your cover letter is a chance to tell the hiring manager why you’re perfect for the job. You can go into detail about why your experience and skills make you a good fit or explain how your passion for the company makes it a natural fit for you.

It’s also an opportunity to build rapport with someone who may not know much about you say if they’re recruiting from another department in your organization or interviewing candidates who have been referred by someone else. 

If this person happens to be looking at hundreds of applications, then making their lives easier is always a good way to get noticed!

Are cover letters important? Absolutely. A cover letter is your chance to showcase your personality and demonstrate why you’re the best fit for the job. Check out our article on why cover letters matter to learn more about their importance in the job application process.

It’s A Way To Communicate With A Hiring Manager

A cover letter is a way to communicate with a hiring manager. You have a few seconds to make an impression on your potential employer, so you want to make sure that you’re doing everything within your power to get in the door for an interview.

The more time you spend on your cover letter, the better it will be and that means reading up on the company and making sure that you are interested in working there. If anything makes hiring managers cringe, it’s finding out that someone could care less about them or their business model.

It’s A Way To Communicate With Someone You Don’t Know

A cover letter is a way to introduce yourself, explain why you’re writing, and show your personality. It’s also a vehicle for revealing how professional and enthusiastic you are.

In other words, it’s an opportunity to shine as an individual. And as someone who gets lots of cover letters, I can tell you that this matters a lot especially if they’re coming from people applying for jobs at my company.

It’s A Chance To Talk About Your Passion For The Job And The Company

Cover letters are a great opportunity to tell the hiring manager what you’re passionate about, and why you want to work at the company. If you don’t have an answer yet, that’s okay! You can use this as a chance to research the industry and begin thinking about your career goals.

The best way to show your passion is by telling a story: what do you love about working in this field? What problems get you excited? Why does this particular position sound like something that would be fun for you?

A well-crafted cover letter can make all the difference in landing your dream job. Our article on how a cover letter can help you get your desired job offers tips and tricks for creating a winning cover letter that will grab a hiring manager’s attention.

It Offers Proof That You’ve Researched The Company

If you’re applying for a job at a company, you need to show that you’ve done your homework. To do this, include information about the business in your cover letter. You can find some of this information online or by asking someone who works there.

For example, if the company focuses on environmental sustainability and green technology, mention that in your letter. 

If they have an interesting history like being founded by two college students who started selling crafts on Etsy mention that too! It’s also okay to ask what products or services the company provides (this will help when writing about them later).

If possible, research who runs the company and their leadership style. If they’re known for being flexible with employees’ schedules and allowing remote work opportunities, maybe say something about it here as well (if it’s relevant).

If A Resume Is Like An Appetizer, The Cover Letter Is The Main Dish

A cover letter can be a great way to show your personality and explain why you’d like to work for a particular company.

You might think that the resume is the main dish, but it’s merely an appetizer: A cover letter allows you to give context and detail about your previous experience that wouldn’t fit on the resume itself. 

For example, if you’ve been working at one company for 15 years but are looking for new opportunities because of changes at your workplace or because you’re ready for something new or your cover letter can explain what those changes were and how they motivated your decision to search for other jobs. 

Likewise, if there’s a certain skill set or qualification that makes one job more appealing than another (e.g., “I’m interested in this role because of its design focus”) then mention it in your cover letter! 

If a hiring manager sees these qualities listed on their application materials (even without context), it may help them make an informed decision when choosing between candidates later down the line, especially when considering an offer from another company as well!

If you’re still unsure about whether cover letters matter, our article on the importance of cover letters breaks down the reasons why they are an essential part of any job application. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make a great first impression with a strong cover letter.

It’s An Opportunity To Show Your Personality

Most cover letters are fairly similar. They usually hit on the same points and say the same things. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd. But a well-crafted letter can make all the difference in whether or not you land an interview.

Show that you’re unique: Your cover letter should reflect your personality, interests, and experiences not just what you think the hiring manager wants to read! If there are particular aspects of your background or experience that would benefit this company, bring them up!

Make clear why you’re a good fit: The point of a cover letter is to convince employers that they should hire YOU for THIS JOB (and not some other person). Be explicit about how your skills fit with what they’re looking for in an employee, and show them how adding YOU will improve their team/company overall.*

It’s An Opportunity To Explain Why You Chose This Company Over Others

Cover letters are an opportunity to explain why you chose this company over others. For example, if you’re applying for a job at an ad agency and you have experience with marketing, explain how your experiences align with their expertise and needs. 

If you have relevant skills that can be applied to the position and aren’t listed in the job description, let them know! Try to show how your past experiences relate directly back to their needs as well as why they would benefit from hiring someone like yourself (because of X).

It Gives You A Chance To Build Credibility

Credibility. You’ve spent years building up your credibility and experience. Your cover letter gives you a chance to showcase that experience and show how you’re an ideal candidate for the job.

Experience. Describe your past achievements, failures, and challenges as they relate to the job requirements. 

These are all things that demonstrate how well suited you are for the role and make it easy for the hiring manager to see why they should hire you over other candidates without having met them in person yet!

It Makes It Easy For The Hiring Manager Or Recruiter To Find Contact Information Quickly

A cover letter is a great way to make it easy for the hiring manager or recruiter to find your contact information quickly and decide whether to call you or interview you. 

The hiring manager or recruiter probably has dozens of applicants in front of them, so they want the process to be as streamlined as possible. Anything that helps them get through their pile faster is going to be appreciated by both the hiring manager/recruiter and the applicant!

An effective cover letter can increase your chances of getting hired by showcasing your skills and qualifications in a compelling way. Check out our article on how a cover letter can affect your chances of getting a job to learn more about how to make the most of this important tool in your job search.

Cover Letters Provide Context To Your Resume And Credentials

Cover letters are an opportunity to demonstrate your fit for the job. They allow you to show how your skills and experience match up with what the employer is looking for in a candidate.

They also allow you to stand out from other applicants because they allow you to explain why you want to work at that company and what makes them special. A great way to do this is by referencing specific things from their job posting or website, if applicable.


We hope you found this article helpful! If you have any questions about cover letters or anything else related to job hunting, please feel free to reach out.

Further reading

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

Why cover letters are important: This article explains why cover letters are still relevant and provides tips for creating an effective one.

Do employers care about cover letters?: This article explores whether cover letters are truly necessary in the job application process and shares insights from hiring managers.

Should you include a cover letter?: This LinkedIn article provides an overview of the benefits of including a cover letter and offers tips for crafting a strong one.


What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume and provides additional information about your skills, qualifications, and experience. It is typically addressed to a specific hiring manager and explains why you are interested in the job and why you are the best fit for the position.

Do all employers require a cover letter?

While not all employers require a cover letter, it is still a good idea to include one with your job application. A well-written cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates and demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the position.

What should I include in a cover letter?

A cover letter should include an introduction that explains why you are applying for the job, a middle section that highlights your relevant skills and experience, and a closing paragraph that reiterates your interest in the position and thanks the employer for their time.

How long should a cover letter be?

A cover letter should be concise and to the point, typically no longer than one page. Use clear and concise language to explain why you are the best fit for the position.

Should I customize my cover letter for each job application?

Yes, it is important to customize your cover letter for each job application. This shows the employer that you are serious about the position and have taken the time to research the company and understand their needs. Personalizing your cover letter can also help you stand out from other applicants who may be using a generic template.