How Effective Is A Cover Letter? (Career Advice)

A cover letter is a crucial part of any job application. It’s your chance to sell yourself to a potential employer, and it can make the difference between landing an interview or getting passed over. Unfortunately, many applicants don’t take the time to write effective cover letters often because they don’t know how or don’t understand their value of them.

When and Why to Write a Cover Letter – Plus, Top Tips
Key Takeaways
A cover letter provides a more detailed overview of your qualifications and experience.
Cover letters allow you to showcase your writing skills and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job.
Cover letters should be tailored to the job you’re applying for and highlight your relevant qualifications and experience.
Follow the application instructions provided by the employer when deciding whether or not to include a cover letter.
To make your cover letter stand out, use a professional tone and formatting, and proofread it carefully for errors.

It’s Difficult To Read

When writing a cover letter, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of your new job prospects. You want to make sure you sound like the best candidate for the position, so you go into great detail about why you’re right for it. However, this will mean that your cover letter may become too long and difficult to read.

To avoid this scenario:

Use a serif font (for example Times New Roman) instead of sans-serif (Arial). In most cases, people associate serif fonts with being easier to read than sans-serif due to their distinctive features such as varying line widths and stroke weights which help guide your eyes through text. 

Since most people only spend around six seconds looking at each part of a webpage or document before moving on to something else, it’s important that whatever information you provide is well laid out so readers don’t get distracted by layout issues that lead them off track from reading what matters most!

Make sure all sections are clearly defined with section headings throughout each page(s). Each section should have its heading so readers know exactly where they are within paragraphs/sections without having any confusion whatsoever about where they are located within longer documents such as novels or magazines 

Also known as “magazines” because there were once actual newspapers before computers were invented but now nobody reads those anymore except maybe some old people who still live outside city limits because municipal governments aren’t allowed inside cities anymore due to safety concerns related specifically

If you want to learn all there is to know about cover letters, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on all you need to know about cover letter career advice. This guide covers everything from the basics to advanced techniques, and is a great resource for anyone looking to craft a winning cover letter.

It Takes Too Long To Read

The cover letter is a marketing document, so it should be no longer than one page. You need to capture your reader’s attention in the first paragraph and then keep it until your resume gets passed on for review. If you’re writing a two-page cover letter, you’re doing something wrong.

Your cover letter also needs to be structured as a list of bullets that’s how hiring managers read these things! Each bullet should be an accomplishment or achievement that makes you stand out from other candidates. Listing these points will make it easier for the reader to understand why they should hire you over anyone else who might apply for this position.

It’s Not Applicable

If you’re not looking for a job in the same field, geographical area, industry, or role as your previous work experience, if you are applying for something completely new then it might be that the points you make in your cover letter won’t be relevant to your application. 

That doesn’t mean they are useless; it just means that they need to be adapted to fit the specific requirements of this new role/company.

The Applicant Isn’t Qualified

If you’re concerned that the applicant isn’t qualified, there are several ways to check. One is by looking at previous job experience and education. If the applicant doesn’t have the right qualifications, he or she probably won’t get a job in your company.

Another way to determine if someone is qualified is by asking what they know about your business or industry. You could ask them something like “What do you like most about Amazon?” because most people who work at Amazon would say something positive about their workplace culture and products.

The last way to check an applicant’s resume is by talking with them directly! The only way for employers to know if an applicant has what it takes for a position within their company is by having an actual conversation with them and this means more than just going through some scripted questions together (like “Why do want this job?”). 

It’s important not only because it gives both parties something extra during which they can bond but also because it allows us all access to each other’s mindsets and motivations while simultaneously letting us learn more about what we’re looking for in our future coworkers/employees.”

Are you wondering how important a cover letter is when applying for a job? Our article on how important is a cover letter when applying for a job has the answers you’re looking for. Learn about the benefits of including a cover letter with your job application, and how it can help you stand out from the crowd.

You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

You want your cover letter to be effective. The first thing that hiring managers look at when reviewing your application is the cover letter, so it’s important to make a good first impression with this document. 

A poorly written cover letter can give an employer the impression that you aren’t qualified for the job even if you are!

A good way to do this is by showing off your personality in your writing style, making sure it’s well-written and professional, and including details about why you’re interested in working for them or their company.

The Applicant Was Referred By Someone You Know And Respect

When you’re considering a candidate who has been referred by someone you know and respect, you can trust that person’s judgment. 

You should also be confident that the applicant’s skills are more than just “good enough.” What this means is that if you know the referring source well enough to trust them in general, then they’ll have an idea of what credentials are important for your job and how well-suited the applicant might be for it.

A professional referral carries weight with hiring managers because it shows that there’s already some level of rapport between two people involved in the process. 

This isn’t something we’ve talked about yet, but it’s worth keeping in mind: In any field where relationships matter (business or otherwise), a good connection will help smooth out any hurdles on your team’s path toward success!

Writing a cover letter can be challenging, but understanding how they work can make the process easier. Be sure to read our article on how do cover letters work career advice to learn about the different components of a cover letter, and how they work together to make a compelling case for your candidacy.

The Applicant Is Overqualified

As you read through applications, you may come across one that is overqualified for the position. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how it’s taken. If an applicant is vastly overqualified for a position, it could be because they are looking for something with less responsibility or more flexibility in their schedule. 

On the other hand, if someone who is underqualified sends his application to your company and he’s also living in your town, there could be some issues with his honesty and/or competency in general.

There Are Gaps In Employment History

You worked at a department store for two years, then took some time off to travel before joining a digital marketing firm. You’ve been with them ever since and they’ve been happy with your performance.

If you’re looking to explain gaps in employment history on your resume, here’s what you should know:

The first thing to consider is why there are gaps in the first place. If the reason for taking time away from work is because of illness or family issues, it’s perfectly acceptable to include this information on your resume just make sure it’s clear that these circumstances were beyond your control and that they don’t reflect poorly upon you (e.g., illnesses can happen to anyone).

If there hasn’t been any major change in your personal life since leaving school or exiting an industry altogether, many experts recommend simply excluding those periods entirely from resumes if possible especially when they were relatively short stints (less than five years). 

This will help keep potential employers focused on more recent accomplishments instead of dwelling too much on what may have happened during those times behind closed doors instead of open doors (i.e., working).

The Applicant Is Underqualified

If you have a cover letter, but the position requires someone with experience and education that you don’t have, then your cover letter won’t be able to help you. 

So if the job posting includes any sort of qualification above and beyond what your resume shows, then you should probably not apply for it. The reason? Employers will likely pass over underqualified applicants in favor of those who are better suited for the role.

It’s easy to see why employers would want to hire candidates who are already qualified; they’ve saved themselves time by screening out applicants who aren’t good fits and can focus on hiring just those who are most likely to succeed in their roles. But what happens when an employer decides they want someone underqualified?

Starting a cover letter can be the hardest part of the writing process, but with the right approach, it can also be the most rewarding. Check out our article on how to start writing a cover letter career advice for tips on how to craft a strong opening statement that will grab the reader’s attention and keep them engaged.

It’s Boring

Fortunately, making a boring cover letter interesting is not that difficult. You just need to be personal and interesting.

For example, if you’re applying for a position at an insurance company and they want someone with previous experience managing an office or department, you could include the fact that you managed your high school’s yearbook. 

Or if they want someone with excellent communication skills and public speaking experience, you could mention how many presentations you gave at last year’s conference on workplace safety. And so on

What makes these stories relevant? They show that we have experience doing what the employer is looking for in their ideal candidate.

It Doesn’t Answer Your Most Important Question Why Should I Hire This Person?

Remember that you’re writing a cover letter because you want to get an interview. If the employer asks why you’re interested in the position and your answer is: “Because I want to be employed by this company,” then your letter will likely be ineffective.

Another way to think about it is: if your resume is all about what you can do for the company, then your cover letter should focus on how they can help YOU. The best way to do this? Show them specifically how they fit into YOUR career goals and aspirations!

The Applicant Doesn’t Provide Enough Contact Information

If you’re looking to contact the applicant, make sure they provide enough contact information. An email address is a must-have for most positions; if you want to contact the applicant by phone or through social media, this is also helpful information. 

If your company requires references or previous employers to be contacted instead of yourself directly, applicants must include those types of details in their cover letters as well.

There Are Grammar Or Spelling Errors That Cause Confusion

There are many ways to look unprofessional and unintelligent. One way is by making grammar and spelling errors in your cover letter.

When you’re writing a cover letter, it’s important to double-check for any grammatical mistakes before submitting your application. This will ensure that the hiring manager sees you as someone who cares about their work, which is a very appealing quality in an applicant!

Grammar mistakes can also distract from what you’re trying to say when writing your cover letter: if there are multiple errors on one page or if they appear throughout the entire document this can also make it seem like you don’t take pride in your work or aren’t familiar with proper grammar rules (or both).

If you’re wondering how important a cover letter is to landing your dream job, our article on how important is cover letter to land a job expert advice has the answers you’re looking for. Learn about the role that cover letters play in the hiring process, and how to make sure your cover letter makes a strong impression on potential employers.


In the end, there are a lot of factors that go into whether or not a cover letter is effective. It’s important to know what your company needs and wants from its employees, and then tailor your application accordingly. 

A good rule of thumb is to make sure your cover letter includes all of the necessary information in an organized, easy-to-read format. Also, remember that this isn’t necessarily going to be the only piece of paper you send out when searching for jobs — employers typically look at resumes too!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about cover letters, check out these additional resources:

Do I Need a Cover Letter?: This article discusses the pros and cons of including a cover letter with your job application, and provides tips for crafting an effective one.

Why Cover Letters Are Important: This resource explains the role that cover letters play in the job application process, and provides guidance on how to write a compelling one.

Do Employers Care About Cover Letters?: This article explores whether or not employers really care about cover letters, and provides tips for making sure your cover letter stands out.


Q: What is a cover letter?

A: A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume when applying for a job, and provides a more detailed overview of your qualifications and experience.

Q: Why are cover letters important?

A: Cover letters are important because they give you the opportunity to highlight your qualifications and explain why you’re a good fit for the job. They also allow you to showcase your writing skills and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position.

Q: What should I include in a cover letter?

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

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

A: It depends on the job and the employer’s preferences. Some employers require a cover letter, while others may not consider them as important. It’s always a good idea to follow the application instructions provided by the employer.

Q: How can I make my cover letter stand out?

A: To make your cover letter stand out, be sure to tailor it to the job you’re applying for, highlight your relevant qualifications and experience, and use a professional tone and formatting. Additionally, proofread your letter carefully and make sure it’s free of errors.