Is Cover Letter Mandatory? (CAREER Advice)

The cover letter is an essential component of the job-search process. When applying for jobs, you should always include a cover letter. 

The purpose of the cover letter is to make your resume stand out from all of the other resumes that a recruiter or hiring manager receives. It provides additional information about who you are and why you would be a good fit for the position being offered. So, do I need to write one? Yes!

Ask a Career Advisor | Are Cover Letters Necessary? – YouTube
A well-written cover letter can make your job application stand out from the rest.
The purpose of a cover letter is to showcase your skills, qualifications, and experience that make you a good fit for the job.
It’s important to customize your cover letter to the job you’re applying for and to use keywords and phrases that match the job description.
Your cover letter should be concise, error-free, and no longer than one page.
While not always necessary, having a strong cover letter can give you a competitive advantage in the job application process.

Do You Have To Include A Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a great way to show your personality and explain why you are a good fit for the job. Cover letters can also help you stand out from other applicants, so it’s important to tailor each one to the specific position that you are applying for.

Is A Cover Letter Necessary?

You may be wondering if a cover letter is really necessary. After all, you’re applying for the job, so why would you want to send in a separate document?

The answer is simple: The cover letter is an extension of your resume that allows you to show how your skills and qualifications fit into the position. It also tells the hiring manager something about who you are and what motivates you.

If you want to see what a good cover letter looks like, check out our career advice on what a cover letter looks like. We’ve provided a sample cover letter template and explained the components that make it effective.

What Information Should Be On A Cover Letter?

When you write a cover letter, it is essential to include specific information. Here are some of the most important things that should be included:

Your name and contact information

The reason why you’re writing (the job opening)

What you want (the job)

What you can offer (your skills, qualifications, etc.)

How your experience will benefit the company or organization

When writing a cover letter, be sure to tailor the content specifically to each position that interests you. 

If possible, include specific examples from past work experiences where your skills were used effectively in similar situations. 

If there aren’t any opportunities like this on your resume already, consider highlighting how well suited for an open position by describing what kinds of tasks and projects have been most enjoyable for you in previous employment situations. 

You may also want to list related professional skills that could be useful for this new job; however, make sure those items are relevant before including them in any application materials!

Can I Email My Cover Letter As An Attachment Instead Of Writing It In The Email?

If you want to send your cover letter as an attachment, you can do so by saving it as a PDF file. The recipient’s email system will then open it in the same way that it opens other attachments.

If you’re more comfortable writing in Microsoft Word or some other word processor program, create a plain text file instead. 

This type of file gets sent as text without any formatting. It’s just like writing on paper you don’t need fancy fonts or paragraph styles because the recipient will see everything exactly as you wrote it (except for underlining). 

If you don’t have Microsoft Word installed on your computer and still want to use its formatting features while composing your email message, try any one of these free online editors:


Hemingway Editor: (the link takes you directly to their editor)

Are you unsure how to start writing your cover letter? Our career advice on how to start writing a cover letter can help. We’ve outlined the steps you can take to create a strong opening paragraph that will capture the attention of your potential employer.

Can I Use My Resume As A Cover Letter If I Don’t Have Time To Write A New One?

As a rule, you should always write a cover letter. A resume is more formal and factual than a cover letter, which is more personal and conversational. You can think of it this way: your resume is about what you can do for an employer; your cover letter is about why you want the job.

With that said, if you’re pressed for time or just don’t feel confident in your writing abilities (and no shame it happens to all of us), consider using your resume as a substitute instead of writing both letters from scratch. Just be sure to include some additional information on why you are interested in working at their company specifically.

How Do I Format My Cover Letter If I’m Submitting It In Hard Copy Form?

If you’re submitting a hard-copy cover letter, there are some basic formatting rules to follow.

Use standard business letter format: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this should be included in the “don’ts” section of your cover letter. For most people looking for jobs or internships, this is quite easy to do; it just means using one page for your cover letter and another page for any attachments (like transcripts). 

You can use Microsoft Word or Google Docs to create this document, and if you’re feeling creative, there’s no reason why you couldn’t also design your template!

Use a professional font: There are many different fonts out there that will work well with a formal document like this one but when choosing which one is right for you, consider what tone and style best reflect who is on the receiving end of the message (hint: it probably won’t be Comic Sans). 

Some common fonts include Times New Roman and Arial both have similar characteristics but can vary depending on boldness within each character set itself

What Is The Difference Between A Captivating And An Attractive Cover Letter?

When you’re writing a cover letter, there’s a big difference between creating captivating content and creating attractive content.

Captivating cover letters are focused on what the reader will find most compelling about your candidacy. Attractive cover letters are more concerned with how you’ll feel about yourself when you read them back (or more importantly, after someone else has read them).

A captivating letter is written to its reader: It aims to make them want to meet you and talk with you in person so that they can see for themselves if everything in your resume is true or not. 

An attractive letter is focused on making sure that when people read it, they do not doubt that this is exactly who they should hire for their job opening. The writer’s feelings about themselves don’t matter as much as whether or not their skills are up to par.

Looking for a comprehensive guide on cover letters? Our career advice on all you need to know about cover letters can provide you with the information you need. We’ve covered everything from the purpose of a cover letter to tips on how to customize it for different job applications.

How Can I Make Sure My Cover Letter Is Read By The Recruiter Or Hiring Manager?

Make sure the cover letter is clear and concise.

Make sure the cover letter is well-written.

Make sure the cover letter is relevant to the job you’re applying for (and avoid any irrelevant information).

Make sure it’s personalized, not just a form letter that you send out to everyone who hires for your desired position (which does not make them want to read it). 

Use their name inside of your greeting as well as in anybody paragraphs where you might be referring back to something they’ve said (“I’m excited to hear about this new opportunity at XYZ company because…”) or talking about them directly (“You have a such amazing experience working with…”).

Finally, remember that just because someone sends you an email asking if they can send over some information doesn’t mean they’re interested in hiring you it could just be some kind of automated response system! 

If possible, get on the phone with whoever sent it and ask them directly whether or not they’d like more info from all of us candidates being considered; this way we can save everyone time by eliminating those who aren’t even considering us seriously yet.

Do I Need To Write A Different Cover Letter Each Time I Apply For A Job?

Yes, you do need a different cover letter for each job. Why? Because every job has different requirements and you want to tailor your cover letter to those requirements. For example, if the job requires that only people with five years of experience apply, then your cover letter should mention this in it so that hiring managers know that you have at least five years of experience.

If the job does not have any specific requirements but rather says “all qualified candidates will be considered” or something else similar, then there is no need for you to mention anything about yourself or why you are applying for the position other than what is included on their application form itself.

How Long Should A Cover Letter Be And How Many Pages Should It Be?

We’re going to give you a simple answer: one page.

That said, we understand that novices may need more space to explain their qualifications and why they would be a good fit for the company. If that’s the case, then two or three pages should do it but no more than two or three pages, please!

The key here is brevity. Remember that cover letters are written for recruiters who have hundreds of other applicants to get through every day and thousands over a week (or even months). You don’t want your cover letter taking up too much of their time so keep it short and sweet!

Do you know how important a cover letter is when applying for a job? Our career advice on how important a cover letter is when applying for a job can help you understand why it matters. We’ve explained how a well-crafted cover letter can make your job application stand out from the rest.

Should I Include References In My Cover Letter Or Will They Be Requested Later In The Interview Process, If Needed?

While a cover letter is optional, it’s usually worthwhile to include one. A well-written and well-crafted cover letter can be strong evidence of an applicant’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Cover letters are also useful for highlighting your skills, accomplishments, and relevant experience in a way that’s more targeted than most resumes.

If you choose not to write a formal cover letter but instead simply attach your resume without any accompanying material, then it’s still important to ensure that your resume includes contact information for references whether printed at the bottom of the page or listed in an “Additional Information/References Available Upon Request” section at the end of your document. 

You may even want to include specific instructions about how many references are needed (e.g., three people who can speak on behalf of their professional qualifications).

If you do decide not to use a formal cover letter but instead print out recommendations from people who know you professionally as PDF attachments for senior executives within each company where you have worked over time (or some other format) 

Make sure these attachments come with contact information so that hiring managers can reach out directly should they need further clarification regarding those recommendations’ validity or relevance about how they could benefit hiring decisions here at Company X

What Is The Best Way To Address Gaps In Employment History On My Cover Letter Or Resume?

If you have a gap in your employment history, it’s important to explain how your skills and talents will be useful in the new position. It may help to include a reference to your most recent job or work experience or even volunteer work. 

For example: “In addition to my previous experience as an office manager, I’ve been volunteering as a mentor for recent college graduates entering the workforce.” Or: “My last position was as an administrative assistant for an oil company; this provided me with excellent skills in accounting and financial analysis.”

Does A Job Application Require Both A Resume And A Cover Letter?

Does a job application require both a resume and a cover letter, or just one of them, or even both of them combined into one document?

The answer to this question depends on the company’s preference. Many companies will accept resumes without attached cover letters and other companies require both documents. 

Some companies only accept resumes with attached cover letters while others require only one or the other. 

It also depends on if they want to see your credentials as they appear on your resume, or if they’d prefer that you provide more details about why you would be an asset to their team in person by including more information in your cover letter than what can fit onto a single piece of paper.

Are you wondering if a cover letter is always necessary? Our career advice on if a cover letter is always necessary can provide you with the answer. We’ve discussed situations where a cover letter may not be required, as well as the benefits of including one even when it’s not mandatory.


The answer to this question is that a cover letter is not required. However, if you want your resume to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by recruiters who receive hundreds of applications each day, then it makes sense for you to write one.

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about cover letters, check out these helpful resources:

Do I Need a Cover Letter? Pros and Cons + Tips: This article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using a cover letter in your job application and provides tips for making it effective.

Do Employers Care About Cover Letters?: This resource explores the importance of cover letters from the employer’s perspective and provides insights on what they look for in a good cover letter.

Are Cover Letters Necessary?: This article discusses whether or not cover letters are still relevant in today’s job market and provides tips for making yours stand out.


What is the purpose of a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document that accompanies your job application and introduces you to the potential employer. Its purpose is to showcase your skills, qualifications, and experience that make you a good fit for the job and to convince the employer to invite you for an interview.

Do I need a cover letter for every job application?

While it’s not always necessary to include a cover letter with your job application, it’s a good practice to have one ready in case the employer requests it or when you want to stand out from other applicants.

How do I make my cover letter effective?

To make your cover letter effective, you should customize it to the job you’re applying for, use keywords and phrases that match the job description, address it to the right person, highlight your relevant skills and achievements, and keep it concise and error-free.

What should I include in my cover letter?

Your cover letter should include a brief introduction, a description of your qualifications and experience, and a closing statement that expresses your interest in the job and your willingness to provide further information.

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be one page or less, consisting of three to four paragraphs. It should be long enough to convey your message but concise enough to keep the employer’s attention.