Is Cover Letter Important? (Career Advice)

I find myself thinking about the purpose of a cover letter again and again, so I decided to write this post. It’s quick and easy to read and answer your questions about how to write a cover letter.

When and Why to Write a Cover Letter – Plus, Top Tips
A well-written cover letter can increase your chances of getting hired
A cover letter allows applicants to showcase their writing skills and attention to detail
Research the company and the job to tailor your letter to the specific position
Make sure to proofread and edit your cover letter carefully
While not all employers require a cover letter, it is generally a good idea to include one whenever possible

What Is The Purpose Of A Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document that summarizes your skills, experience, and qualifications for a job. It’s an introduction to yourself and why you are the best person for the position.

In addition to demonstrating your writing skills (which is important), your cover letter should show

Your personality if you can demonstrate what makes you unique, could be enough to make an employer pick up the phone and call you first!

Your interest in the job if an employer reads your letter and doesn’t feel like they’ve just spoken with their ideal candidate, then why would they want to meet with them?

When you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, don’t let it discourage you. Instead, address your cover letter to the department head or HR manager. Our article on finding the hiring manager for your cover letter provides more tips on how to address your cover letter effectively.

Do I Need To Send A Cover Letter?

For many job seekers, the cover letter is a thing of mystery. It can be difficult to know whether or not it’s worth writing one (and if so, how to write one).

The short answer? Yes, you need to send a cover letter with your application materials. The long answer? Cover letters are an important way for you to make an impression on hiring managers and recruiters. 

They’ll help you stand out from other applicants and show that you’re serious about getting this job and want it! So much so that you’ve taken time out of your day to write something more than just “Dear Hiring Manager.”

How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?

The answer depends on the job listing. If you are applying for a position that has no listed requirements, then the length of your cover letter isn’t as important. 

On the other hand, if there is a specific word count or page limit in the job posting (for example, “Make sure your resume and cover letter are no longer than one page”), then it’s important to adhere to those guidelines so that your application doesn’t get tossed out by mistake. 

You can always ask someone at the company where you’re applying if they have any specific document length requirements before you start writing it might be useful information to have!

As an easy rule of thumb: keep it short and sweet! Cover letters generally range between one and two pages in length; anything longer than that runs the risk of boring readers and wasting their time (or spamming them). 

A well-written short paragraph consisting of no more than two sentences is likely all that’s needed for each section of this document (such as describing why you’re interested in working for them).

To make your cover letter stand out, it’s important to explain why you’re a good fit for the job. Focus on your qualifications, skills, and experience that make you the best candidate. For more tips on how to do this, check out our article on writing a cover letter that explains why you’re a good fit.

Should I Include My Address On My Cover Letter?

If you’re sending a hard copy of your cover letter and resume, it’s a good idea to include your address. If you’re sending an email with the same documents, this isn’t necessary.

Can I Leave Out My Address If I’m Applying Online?

If you are applying for a job online, you can leave out your address. The reason for this is that if you include an email address and an appropriate cover letter with your resume, it is likely that the employer will contact you to arrange an interview.

If you are sending your documents by mail or fax, it may be helpful to include your mailing address at the top of the cover letter because some employers may want to check references and other documents they need from people they interview before making final decisions about who they hire. 

An easy way to do this is: “The best way to reach me is by e-mail or phone number below.”

How Do I Write A Cover Letter Without A Name Or Contact Information?

A cover letter should be as personal as possible, but sometimes there are no names or contact information to use. Even if you have no way of knowing who will read your cover letter, try to write it as though you were writing directly to them.

Here’s how:

Use a generic salutation and closing. If your letter is addressed “Dear Sir or Madam,” that’s the fine-the point is not to convey informality (which would make sense in a casual situation), but rather for the reader to know that it was sent by someone who wasn’t trying to be specific about their identity.

Avoid using pronouns like “I” or “you” throughout the text; they imply that these words are being used about a person who can be identified by name or some other means. 

Instead of saying something like “When I met with Mr./Ms./Mrs., he/she suggested” better choices might be something like “It was suggested by Mr./Ms./Mrs.” It’s okay if people don’t know how many people will read this letter just keep things simple and avoid pronouns wherever possible!

A well-written cover letter can be the key to landing an interview. But what makes a cover letter effective? Check out our article on writing a cover letter that will land you the interview for tips on how to make your cover letter stand out from the crowd.

Should I Submit A Cover Letter Even If It Isn’t Required?

The answer is: it depends. If you’re applying for an entry-level position, there’s no need to send one. But if the company asks for it, do include one! Cover letters are an opportunity to show your personality and creativity. 

They also allow you to demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the company and know what they’re all about or at least that you took the time to find out which job title was most relevant before applying for these jobs online (which means you looked at their website!). 

A well-written cover letter will help convince recruiters that they want someone who values attention to detail and takes initiative; both are good qualities in employees!

How Do I Write A Generic/No-Name Cover Letter To Go With My Resume?

Use the same font and formatting as your resume, but don’t include any personal information in your letter. 

You may want to use a different color ink than what’s used on the rest of your documents; this will make it easy for employers to recognize that this document is meant for them. Don’t use first or second-person pronouns (I, me, we), and avoid telling stories about yourself that have nothing to do with why you’re writing the letter.

Can I Use Bullet Points In My Cover Letter Instead Of Full Sentences?

Bullet points are an excellent way to highlight specific skills and accomplishments, draw attention to key points, make your cover letter more readable, and show that you can communicate clearly. For example:

You have strong communication skills: “I am a [insert positive trait] professional with [insert number] years of experience in the field. I have written [number] articles for [insert publication].”

You are a well-rounded candidate: “I also have extensive experience in [insert second skill], which is necessary for this job because”

If you choose to write your entire cover letter using bullet points, try inserting full sentences between them so it still looks like a regular paragraph.

Should I Include Keywords From The Job Listing In My Cover Letter?

The short answer is “yes”, with a few caveats. First, you don’t want to go overboard and overdo it. 

The keyword density should be low enough that the letter doesn’t sound like an advertisement or feel fake and automated (like the time I sent my resume out for a job listing I found on Craigslist and received an email response that said “I got your application! This is great! Let’s schedule a meeting ASAP”).

Second, while it’s good practice to use keywords from the job listing in your cover letter particularly those related to skills relevant to the position you don’t have to include every single one if they aren’t relevant or accurate for you. 

For instance, if there were two different sets of skills listed under “what we are looking for” at the top of my resume (and there usually are), then I would pick one set and only use those terms in describing myself throughout my application materials rather than trying to shoehorn both sets into my cover letter as well

An effective cover letter can greatly increase your chances of getting hired. It’s important to customize your cover letter for each job application and highlight your relevant skills and experience. Learn more about how an effective cover letter can affect your job search in our article on the importance of an effective cover letter.

Should I Use The Same Font And Format On My Cover Letter As On My Resume?

The cover letter should be similar in style and format to your resume. It’s a good idea to use the same font, spacing, and margins throughout both documents. However, if you’re applying for a creative role (such as graphic designer), there may be some exceptions to this rule.

Can I Put Photos, Graphics, Or Color In My Cover Letter?

No. You should not use photos or graphics in your cover letter. Graphics and photos can detract from the overall impression you create on the hiring manager, making it harder for him or her to get your qualifications and experience across as quickly as possible.

If you must add something like this, make sure that it is simple and tasteful (and not distracting). To avoid an overly busy look, stick to one or two pieces of information that are relevant to the position you’re applying for at the top of your letter: 

For example, an image of yourself pointing toward a computer screen showing a sample project if you’re applying for a job in web design

A photograph (actual or stock) of yourself holding books if you’re applying for an editorial position at a publishing house.

A well-structured and formatted cover letter can make a great first impression on a potential employer. It’s important to include all the necessary information and present it in a clear and concise manner. Our article on how a cover letter should be structured provides more tips on how to create an effective cover letter.

If The Company Doesn’t Have An Online Application System, Do I Still Need To Send An Email With My Resume And Cover Letter Attached, Or Can I Just Mail Them In?

If you don’t have access to a company’s online application system, then you can always send your resume and cover letter through the mail. 

The same goes for email or faxes and if you’re feeling old-school, there’s even a way to do this by postal mail! You may also want to consider giving them an in-person presentation at their offices; many companies prefer this because they can get a sense of your personality.

If none of these options work for you (or if they still aren’t answering your messages), do not despair! There are other ways that you can get through:

Phone calls

Messenger service (e.g., UPS)

Carrier pigeon

Do I use first person (“I”) or third person (“John Doe”) on a resume/cover letter/thank-you note/etc.?

There are some cases where it is appropriate to use the first person (I), and there are other cases where it is not.

Here’s what you need to know:

Use the first person if you’re writing a cover letter.  This is because a cover letter is addressed to an employer, and you’re applying for specific job openings. 

The employer would expect that when reading your document, they’ll know who wrote it based on what’s written in the address block at the top of each page which has your name in it! Writing “I” makes this clear and easy for them.

Use the third person if writing other documents with no signature block (like resumes or thank-you notes). 

This follows similar logic as above; here too, knowing who wrote something can be helpful information in deciding whether or not one should read through everything else on their desk today before getting back into bed again tomorrow morning until noon when it’s time again – maybe even later!


Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand the importance of a cover letter and how to write one. If you still have any questions about what should go into your cover letter or how long it should be, feel free to ask in the comments below!

Further reading

Why Cover Letters Are Important: This article explains why cover letters are still important in today’s job market and provides tips on how to write an effective cover letter.

The Importance of Cover Letters: offers insights on why cover letters are important and how they can help job seekers stand out from the competition.

How Important is a Cover Letter?: Michael Page’s article explores the importance of a cover letter and how it can increase your chances of getting hired.


What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document that accompanies a resume when applying for a job. It provides an introduction to the applicant and highlights their skills and experience relevant to the position.

Why are cover letters important?

Cover letters are important because they give job seekers the opportunity to explain why they are a good fit for the job and stand out from other candidates. They also allow applicants to showcase their writing skills and attention to detail.

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

While not all employers require a cover letter, it is generally a good idea to include one whenever possible. A well-written cover letter can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting hired.

How do I write an effective cover letter?

To write an effective cover letter, you should research the company and the job, tailor your letter to the specific position, highlight your relevant skills and experience, and make sure to proofread and edit carefully.

Can a cover letter compensate for a weak resume?

While a strong cover letter can help compensate for a weak resume, it is generally best to focus on improving your resume first. A cover letter can enhance your application, but it cannot make up for a lack of relevant experience or skills.