How Important Is A Cover Letter When Applying Online

If you’re applying for a job, there’s no doubt that you’ve come across the term “cover letter.” It’s often treated as an afterthought, but a well-written cover letter can help you stand out from the crowd. In this article, we’ll talk about what a cover letter is and why it matters so much when applying online.

Cover Letter Tips: How to Write One and When It’s Necessary
Key Takeaways
A well-written cover letter can increase your chances of getting hired.
Your cover letter should be customized for each job application.
Your cover letter should be brief and to the point, usually no more than one page.
Use the cover letter to explain why you are interested in the job and how your skills can benefit the company.
Even if a cover letter is not required, submitting one can help you stand out from other candidates.

Does The Cover Letter Go At The Top Or Bottom Of The Resume?

The cover letter should be in a separate document. It should not be attached to the resume, nor should it be placed in the same document as your resume. If you’re sending your application via email, make sure to attach your cover letter and then send those two files together.

If you’re mailing or faxing in your application package, then be sure to include only one file (the resume), and mail/fax that single file along with a cover letter as an additional attachment (not as part of the same file).

While there is no guarantee that a cover letter will secure you a job, omitting it can significantly reduce your chances. As we discussed in our previous article on how important a cover letter is when applying for a job, a well-written and customized cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates and showcase your unique qualifications.

What Does Cover Letter Mean, And Why Do I Need It?

A cover letter is a letter of introduction that precedes your resume. It’s the first thing an employer will see when they review your application, and it gives you a chance to explain why they should bring you in for an interview. 

You can use this opportunity to highlight how well-suited you are for the role, express interest in working there, and show off any relevant skills or experience you have.

A great cover letter will highlight what makes you stand out from other applicants by showing off your personality, conveying your enthusiasm about working with them, and demonstrating knowledge about their company whether that’s through research on their website or reading up on press releases about them online (or both).

Should I Attach My Cover Letter To The Email, Or Copy And Paste It Into The Body?

I would recommend attaching the cover letter to your email when applying for a job online. You must send your resume and cover letter together, so there is no confusion about which piece of information goes with which item. 

The other reason for attaching it to the email is because if you have any special requirements or requests, such as asking for an interview at a certain time and date, then you can put them in your cover letter. 

If you copy and paste the text into the body of your email instead of attaching it, then there will be no way for people to know what those requests are without contacting you directly.

How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?

The length of your cover letter depends on the job and the company. If you’re applying for an entry-level position at a large corporation with a formal application process, you’ll be asked to write a lengthy essay in response to prompts like “Tell us about yourself” or “Why do you want this job?”

A shorter letter is best for these cases. You don’t need to write a novel three paragraphs should suffice. And while it’s tempting to wax poetic about your passion for making coffee (or whatever), remember that the hiring manager will get a boring reading after two paragraphs anyway. 

Instead, focus on what makes you unique as well as how much overlap there is between what they do and what it is that you want to do.

Starting a cover letter can be a daunting task, but with a few tips and tricks, you can begin with confidence. Our article on how to start writing a cover letter provides a step-by-step guide to help you craft a compelling opening that will catch the recruiter’s attention and keep them interested.

How Do I Know What To Include In My Cover Letter?

The cover letter is a great place to tell the hiring manager why you’re the best candidate for the job. The only problem? It can be difficult to know where to start and what should go into it.

No worries! Here are some things that should never be in your cover letter:

  • Your resume (duh!)
  • References (see below)
  • Salary requirements (unless they ask you to include them)

Do I Still Have To Send A Cover Letter If I’ve Already Attached A Resume?

In most cases, yes, you must still send a cover letter. A resume and cover letter are two halves of the same application package, so it’s important to include both. The cover letter is often overlooked as a formality that only serves to introduce the applicant’s resume. However, it’s one of the most important parts of your job search!

The first thing to realize about writing a good cover letter is that it’s not just an expansion of your resume; instead, it should communicate who you are as an individual and why you’re right for this particular position or company in particular (since many candidates will be applying). 

You don’t have space here to go into detail about every aspect of yourself but there are some things worth noting:

Be specific about why you’re interested in this position by describing what attracted you to it or how well your skills match its requirements

Highlight any relevant work experience or education that relates directly to the opening

Don’t repeat information from other parts of your application materials — focus on selling yourself

Understanding how a cover letter works can help you write a more effective one. Our article on how cover letters work provides a detailed overview of the purpose of a cover letter, what to include in it, and how to structure it to make the best impression on potential employers.

How Do I Find Out Who To Send My Cover Letter To?

Let’s say you’re applying for a job at a new company, and you have no idea who to send your cover letter to. How do you find out?

Here are some ideas:

If you know the name of the hiring manager, send it directly their way! This is best because they’ll be able to see that someone cares enough about this position (and them) to take the time in writing an original letter. They’ll appreciate that extra effort, especially if they’ve been getting generic templates and cookie-cutter responses from everyone else.

If there’s no name listed for whom to address your cover letter or resume package or if more than one person has posted jobs with this company then try sending it directly to whoever posted the job listing(s). 

They’ll likely be involved in selecting candidates based on their qualifications, so they might as well take some time out of their day (or night) to read something personalized and thoughtful from one particular applicant. 

Plus it saves them from having read through countless other submissions that were sent electronically by people who didn’t even bother attempting something personal!

A cover letter can enhance the impact of your resume and increase your chances of landing an interview. In our article on how important a cover letter is with a resume, we explain why it is important to include a cover letter when submitting your resume, and how to tailor your cover letter to complement your resume and highlight your skills.

What Should Be The First Sentence Of A Cover Letter?

The first sentence of your cover letter is the most important, in that it sets the tone for the rest of the document. This can either be a statement that is relevant to a job opening or an engaging and interesting introduction to yourself and your skill set. 

Your first sentence should be short and to the point; it should pique interest in what follows, but not so much that you lose sight of what needs to be said.


The best way to explain this would be through an example: A good first sentence could be something like “My name is [name]. I am an experienced [job title] who has worked at [company name] for [length of time].” 

The goal here would be brevity; this tells someone who’s reading through hundreds or thousands of applications in one sitting why they should continue reading yours instead of moving on down the line. 

It also shows them what type of position you’re applying for (i.e., whether or not you know anything about it) without being too explicit about what exactly makes up this skill set (i.e., avoiding using specific titles like “advanced” or “authority”).

Is It Necessary To Address All Pros And Cons In A Cover Letter?

When applying for a job, it is essential to address all the pros and cons in your cover letter. It’s not necessary to go into depth about them, but you should include a list of pros and cons that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Pros and cons are important because they show the employer that you understand what this company needs from their employees and how you could meet those needs.

A well-written cover letter can make all the difference in getting noticed by employers. Our article on how effective cover letters are provides insights on why cover letters are still relevant, and how to create a compelling cover letter that showcases your qualifications and convinces employers to invite you for an interview.


In the end, you should always remember that a cover letter is meant to help sell your skills and abilities to the company, so make sure it’s clear, concise, and relevant. 

The best way to ensure this is by practicing with a friend or colleague who will give honest feedback on your work before sending it off into the world. Good luck!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you can check out to learn more about cover letters:

Do I Need a Cover Letter? – A comprehensive article that explains the benefits of having a cover letter and how to write one that stands out.

Are Cover Letters Necessary? – A short read that explores the debate on whether or not cover letters are still relevant in today’s job market.

The Importance of a Cover Letter – An article that highlights the reasons why cover letters matter and how they can increase your chances of getting hired.


Q: Do I need to include a cover letter with my job application?

A: It depends on the company’s requirements. While some employers don’t require cover letters, submitting one can help you showcase your qualifications and stand out from other applicants.

Q: What should I include in my cover letter?

A: Your cover letter should introduce yourself, explain why you are interested in the position, highlight your relevant skills and experiences, and provide a call to action.

Q: How long should my cover letter be?

A: A cover letter should be brief and to the point, usually no more than one page. Make sure to highlight your key qualifications and accomplishments without getting too wordy.

Q: Should I customize my cover letter for each job application?

A: Yes, you should tailor your cover letter to the specific job and company you are applying to. This will show the employer that you have taken the time to research the company and understand their needs.

Q: How do I write a cover letter if I don’t have much experience?

A: Focus on your transferable skills and highlight any relevant coursework or volunteer experience. Use the cover letter to explain why you are interested in the job and how your skills can benefit the company.