Should I include a Cover Letter?

Wondering if cover letters necessary? The answer is yes. Cover letters are still essential for most job openings. However, it's better not to submit a cover letter in certain instances. How to determine whether you need to submit one? This post will guide you on when to include a cover letter and when you should skip it.

Hand writing letter

Do Employers Look at Cover Letters?

Many claim that cover letters are irrelevant in today’s job market.

They attribute this to the fact that recruiters spend only a few seconds reviewing applications. That way, they don’t read cover letters.

This is partially true; recruiters rarely read cover letters. Though, submitting them is still essential in many cases!

Why Are Cover Letters Still Necessary? 3 Reasons

Here are three reasons why a cover letter is still essential today:

1. Required for Most Job Applications

Most job openings require you to submit a cover letter with your CV. So, failing to include one will give a negative impression to the employer about you.

Recruiters don’t read cover letters most of the time. Still, 53% of them prefer candidates who submit one as a part of the job application.

2. Provides a Competitive Advantage

A well-crafted cover letter can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates with similar skills, experience, and resumes.

Such a letter proves that you’re the best fit for the position by matching your competencies with the job requirements.

As a result, it can significantly boost your chances of getting hired.

3. Shows You’re a Hard Worker

Submitting a cover letter shows the employer that you’ve put in more effort than other candidates who don’t attach one.

This indicates to the recruiters that you’re willing to go out of your way to achieve great results.

What If the Cover Letter in a Job Application is Optional?

Sometimes, job postings state that including a cover letter with the application is optional.

“Optional” means that although including a cover letter isn’t mandatory, it can add value to your application.

In this case, it’s a good idea to submit a cover letter, especially if you’re applying for a highly competitive role.

A skilfully written cover letter alongside your CV can boost your application strength. It’s also an opportunity to complement your CV and provide more context to your profile.

When Shouldn’t You Submit a Cover Letter?

While cover letters are usually necessary, this isn’t always the case. There are a few situations in which you shouldn’t submit a cover letter alongside your CV. Here they are:

The Recruiter Doesn’t Require a Cover Letter

Some job descriptions state that a cover letter isn’t required. In this instance, you should adhere to the instructions and avoid submitting one.

Additionally, if the job application form doesn’t include a section to add your cover letter, the recruiter doesn’t need one.

You Don’t Have Time to Create a Good One

If you don’t really have time to craft a good cover letter, don’t submit a bad one.

Avoid picking a general cover letter template, changing the basic information, and submitting it as your own.

If the cover letter isn’t customised to your own skills and reflects your experience, it’s better not to include it.

Are Cover Letters Necessary for Internships?

Like jobs, cover letters are necessary when applying for an internship. They allow you to include vital information you don’t have space for in your resume.

They also do an excellent job of highlighting your skills and matching them with the internship requirement. Overall, a cover letter is a valuable addition to your application.

Are Cover Letters Necessary for Tech Jobs?

Yes, cover letters are essential for tech jobs.

This is because many employers in the tech industry require a cover letter as a part of the application process.

What to Consider When Submitting a Cover Letter?

If you want to craft a winning cover letter to boost your chances of getting hired, here are a few tips to help you:

Triple-Check the Content

After writing it, triple-check your cover letter to ensure it’s 100% error-free. You can use proofreading tools to help you with that.

A cover letter that includes even a single mistake can leave a negative impression about you. That way, it can decrease your odds of getting the job.

Be Professional Yet Enthusiastic

Make sure to maintain professionalism throughout writing your cover letter.

However, add a bit of enthusiasm to your writing to show your interest in the role to the hiring manager.

Show, Don’t Tell

Show your skills in action to prove you’re the ideal candidate for a job. For example, if you say you’re a problem solver, provide evidence to support that claim.

To do so, you may mention that you have achieved a 90% satisfaction rate as a customer service representative in your previous job.

Look for Specific Instructions

Some job postings specify the requirements and content they’re looking for in the cover letters of the candidates.

These instructions can include certain information about a vital skill or the submission format (Word or PDF), or anything else.

That way, if you find such needs in a job posting, ensure to include all of them in your document.

How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

The ideal length of a cover letter should range between 250 and 400 words.

Think of the cover letter as a sales pitch for your skills. It should be clear and concise to effectively convey your competencies and fit within the recruiter’s limited time.


Are cover letters necessary? Yes, they’re still essential when applying for most vacancies, as many job postings require them.

They can also give the impression that you’re a committed, hard-working person. More interestingly, they can give you an edge over other candidates when applying for a highly competitive role.

That said, you shouldn’t submit a cover letter when the recruiter specifies, they don’t need one. Additionally, avoid including a cover letter if you don’t have a well-crafted customised one.

Finally, ensure that your cover letter is perfectly proofread, professional, and showcases your competencies.