Does My Resume Need a Cover Letter?

When sending out your resume, should you pair it with a cover letter? In the past, a cover letter was unanimously considered a necessity when submitting a resume; today, thanks to online job searches and uploaded employment applications, you will find a mixed bag of advice on the subject.

 Although some professionals in the resume writing and human resources industries advise against forwarding a cover letter, many still adhere to the traditional stance that yes, a cover letter should accompany a resume.  I am in agreement with tradition when it comes to sending a cover letter, as I feel it is an integral part of your resume that can only prove beneficial to your overall presentation.  A concise, well-written cover letter is never a detriment to your resume, and I have received positive feedback from my clients who have presented their resumes with cover letters.

Cover letters are beneficial because they…

  • showcase important information not appropriate for placement on your resume,   such as briefly explaining a prior employment situation or gap in employment;
  • tie you to the specific job at hand by expounding upon a credential or two from your resume in light of the available position and its job description;
  • allow for comment on the company to which you are applying, which shows you have done your homework and research;
  • make you more memorable and help you stand out from the competition;
  • provide a sample of your writing skills and style, as well as your ability to communicate;
  • send the message that you want that specific job and have interest in that particular company, which can translate into a dedicated, enthusiastic new hire for the company.

The absence of a cover letter can be construed as a lazy shortcut by an unenthusiastic job searcher who is not specifically interested in a particular company’s job. It can indicate someone who sends out his or her resume in mass mailings to any and every job posting out there just to find something.

Of course, your cover letter should be well-written, painstakingly proofread, and professional in its content, organization, and appearance. For assistance with writing an effective cover letter that sets you above the competition in the deep pool of applicants, please contact All About Writing.  Together, we can compose a winning cover letter that puts your best foot forward. With All About Writing, writing help is just a call or click away!

by Christa Riddle


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