It’s simple. Not all positions require a cover letter. Actually, 55% of hiring managers don’t read cover letters and consider them unimportant in their search process.
We asked employers from Tennessee, Arizona, Oregon, and Florida, "Do you read cover letters?". The answers we received may surprise you.
“If there is not a space to submit a cover letter in the application, don’t write one."
"Don’t create one; don’t email it ‘in case they want to see it’. They don’t."
"If the company is interested in a cover letter they will ask for one.”
The application process is already anxiety-ridden. Although it is common to want to do more, #noonehastimeforthat
Cover Letter Optional or Cover Letter* Required.
Now that we have that out of the way. Here are some tips for writing a cover letter, whether it is optional or required.
Goal: Uniquely illustrate why you are the best candidate for the position
Please keep it to one page (two-four paragraphs)
Have a captivating opening sentence
Respond to the tone used in the job description
Include an introduction paragraph, a few supporting paragraphs, finally, a closing few sentences.
Your supporting paragraphs should speak to your skills, experiences and expand on your achievements.
Contrary to the name “cover” letter, an optional cover letter will be used as a supporting document to your resume and looked at second. Employers have no interest in reading a cover letter that is not relevant to their hiring position, so make it obvious why you are a great fit.
Create a general resume draft you can easily edit. The draft will include creating opening and closing paragraphs and strong examples of your achievements.
Next, you’ll want to personalize the cover letter, seeing as you are writing a letter! Do adequate research on the company, team structure, and the position.
Need help starting? Check out our sample cover letters.