How Common Are Cover Letters? (Career Advice)

The short answer to the question “Should I send a cover letter with my resume?” is no. It’s not something that employers expect or require, and it can sometimes hurt your chances of getting an interview if you include one. 

But there are times when sending a cover letter can help you stand out from the crowd, so let’s talk about what those situations might be.

When and Why to Write a Cover Letter – Plus, Top Tips
A well-crafted cover letter can increase your chances of getting hired.
Including a cover letter is generally a good idea, even if it’s not explicitly required.
Pay attention to detail and proofread your cover letter carefully to avoid mistakes.
The length of a cover letter should generally be no longer than one page.
A strong cover letter can help to compensate for a weaker resume.

The Short Answer Is No, But There Are A Few Times When You Should Send One

It’s a common misconception that cover letters are required for every job application. The truth is that many employers don’t even look at cover letters and if they do, it’s usually just to make sure you didn’t misspell their company name or include your phone number instead of your email address.

However, there are some instances where a cover letter can be beneficial in helping get your resume noticed by an employer:

  • If you are applying for a position that requires one (like most government positions)
  • When applying for jobs with multiple pages of requirements (for example, clinical psychology internships)

Crafting a cover letter that effectively communicates your skills and experience is key to landing your desired job. Follow our expert tips on how a cover letter can help you get your desired job to ensure your application stands out from the rest.

When Do I Need To Send A Cover Letter?

You’ll need to send a cover letter when you’re applying for any job, internship, scholarship, or grant. A cover letter can also be useful during the application process for a volunteer position or if you’re applying for a job where it’s required (and not optional).

What Should I Include In My Cover Letter?

The main purpose of a cover letter is to let the employer know why you want the job and how you can help them. You should write about your skills, experience, and qualifications that are relevant to the position.

In most cases, cover letters are not read by recruiters or hiring managers but by other employees who share responsibility for making decisions on behalf of their employers (like human resources professionals). 

If they like what they see in your cover letter, it might make it into the hands of someone with hiring authority who will decide if they want to interview you further or not.

How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?

A cover letter to a job posting should be one page long. It’s not uncommon for employers to receive dozens of resumes, so the shorter and more succinct your cover letter is, the better chance you’ll have of getting noticed by a potential employer.

If you’re sending a cover letter in response to an advertisement or posting that requires it, make sure yours is no longer than one page. It’s also helpful to include some bullet points outlining your skills and experience in an organized fashion so that hiring managers can easily see how well-qualified you are for their open position.

Are you wondering if a cover letter is really necessary when applying for jobs? Research shows that including a cover letter can increase your chances of getting hired. Learn more about how cover letters help in job applications in our latest article.

How Do I Write A Cover Letter For An Internship Without Experience?

If you’re applying for an internship without any experience, it will be even more important to address how your skills can benefit the company in your cover letter. Your cover letter should explain:

Why you are interested in this particular field and company? This could include a brief description of the kind of work that interests you, or a description of what draws you to this field.

How this internship would benefit you by giving you practical experience and training that will help prepare you for future jobs in the industry.

How your skills or knowledge would benefit the company if they do not already have someone with similar qualifications on staff (or if no one at all), 

Then explain why hiring someone like yourself would be an asset to their business and give examples of how well prepared students have been when starting professional careers after completing their internships at other companies within this industry (this may require some research into other companies’ websites).

The specific areas where they could use an increase in productivity or efficiency, as well as how adding another person onto these teams might increase those numbers even further than before

What Should The Format Of My Cover Letter Look Like?

In addition to being well-written, your cover letter should also be formatted in a way that makes it easy to read. Be sure you use standard fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri), and don’t get too fancy with the formatting. 

Don’t use weird colors or font sizes or anything that would make your cover letter difficult to read. 

If you are using a template for your cover letter as opposed to writing one from scratch, make sure that you don’t just fill in random fields rather than having the text flow naturally from one field into another (like if you were writing a paper), there should be some breaks between sections so that everything looks more natural on the page when someone reads it through.

Also, remember not to use Times New Roman for your cover letters! This is because this font can sometimes look like an older style of the typeface which may give off an outdated vibe when paired with modern resumes and other documents used during recruitment processes today (even though it’s totally fine if these are still what people prefer).

Attention to detail is crucial when writing a cover letter, as typos or errors can make a negative impression on potential employers. To avoid making this mistake, check out our guide on how bad it is to have a typo in a cover letter for tips on proofreading and editing your application.

How Do I Fit A Cover Letter On One Page?

When you write your cover letter, make sure to use a font that is easy to read. If you’re having trouble fitting all of your information onto one page, try going with smaller font size. This will allow more space for the actual content of your letter and give it more room to breathe on the page.

When it comes down to writing a cover letter, remember that length does not matter as much as quality does! There’s no rule about how long or short your cover letter should be just make sure it’s clear and concise enough so that an employer can see how well-qualified you are for the job opportunity at hand!

When Does It Make Sense To Send More Than One Cover Letter For The Same Job?

If you’re applying to a job posting that asks for a “cover letter and portfolio,” then you can send both. If the listing says “cover letter and portfolio or project,” then you should send your cover letter and one of those two other things (your choice).

For example, if you have an awesome video about how great it would be to work at this company, then it’s totally fine to submit that in addition to your cover letter! Or maybe you’ve made a podcast episode about what it’s like on the other side of the interview table. 

You could send that along as well! If they want something specific from applicants like a particular project or video then they’ll specify exactly which materials they want. 

In any case, don’t worry too much about sending too many things: most employers will let their hiring teams know what kind of applicant materials are preferred so they can quickly weed out submissions without them needing to open attachments (which takes forever).

Should I Send My Cover Letter As An Attachment Or Copy And Paste It Into The Message Box?

If you are sending your cover letter as an attachment, make sure it is formatted properly. If the document contains a table of contents or a list of references, include that information in the body of your email message.

Also, when sending a copy-and-pasted version of your cover letter, remember that it should be short and to the point. The last thing you want is for someone to read through all of this extra text when they could be focusing on hiring someone who matches their qualifications!

When it comes to cover letters, many job seekers wonder how long they should be. The answer is that it depends on the job and the industry. Our article on whether cover letters need to be one page provides valuable insight and advice on this topic.

Should I Add Pictures To My Cover Letter?

Do not, under any circumstances, add pictures to your cover letter. Your cover letter is supposed to be a picture of you as a professional and as a person, not an actual picture of yourself. 

If you have good pictures that somehow reflect what kind of image you want others to see when they think of you, then go ahead and use them in other contexts like in interviews or on your resume but don’t send them along with your cover letter.

Also: Don’t send videos! Or links! Or PDFs! Or Word documents! (Unless the company specifically requests it.)

If there’s something else I haven’t covered here that should be included in every single one of my future job applications (and if I’m being honest with myself here there probably will be), please let me know so I can update this post accordingly. 

Thank you all so much for reading through this whole thing; hopefully, it helps answer some questions about how to write an effective cover letter!

Most Of The Time, Your Resume Is All That You’ll Need To Submit To Get An Interview

Most of the time, your resume is all that you’ll need to submit to get an interview.

A cover letter isn’t necessary unless it’s requested by the employer.

If you’re applying for a job and don’t know whether or not they want a cover letter, include one anyway.

Most resumes should be submitted with a cover letter, but sometimes they can be sent on their own.

It’s best to send your application materials by email if possible; this makes it easier for employers to scan through them without having to open them up individually or physically mail them back and forth between offices.

While some job postings may not explicitly require a cover letter, it’s always a good idea to include one. Our article on whether you need a cover letter for job applications explains why cover letters are important and when you should consider including one in your application.


The bottom line is that cover letters are not a necessary part of the job application process. However, there are some instances where they can help you stand out from other candidates and make your application more complete. 

If you have any questions about whether or not to include a cover letter with your resume, contact us today! We’re here to help make sure every applicant gets just what they need to nail this next step in their career journey.

Further reading

Are Cover Letters Necessary? Here’s What the Data Says – This article examines the current state of cover letters and whether they are still necessary in today’s job market.

Do Cover Letters Still Matter? Here’s What Data Shows – This article provides a detailed analysis of the impact of cover letters on job applications based on data and statistics.

What Is a Cover Letter? – A comprehensive guide to cover letters, including what they are, why they are important, and how to write an effective one.


Q: Are cover letters still necessary?

A: While not all job postings require cover letters, it’s generally a good idea to include one with your application. A well-written cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates and showcase your skills and experience.

Q: What should I include in a cover letter?

A: A cover letter should introduce yourself and explain why you are interested in the job, highlight your relevant skills and experience, and provide evidence of your achievements and accomplishments.

Q: How long should a cover letter be?

A: A cover letter should be concise and to the point, generally no longer than one page.

Q: Can a cover letter compensate for a weak resume?

A: While a strong cover letter can certainly help to compensate for a weaker resume, it’s important to make sure that both documents are as strong as possible.

Q: Should I address my cover letter to a specific person?

A: Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to address your cover letter to a specific person rather than using a generic salutation like “To Whom It May Concern.” This shows that you have taken the time to research the company and personalize your application.