I know. I know. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Cover letters are annoying. They make your palms itch and your eyes twitch. Do they really read the cover letter? What do I write that hasn’t already been said in my resume? Can’t I just send them my resume without the cover letter? I still ask myself these questions.
And, here are the truthful answers.
Yes, you need to write a cover letter. It is an opportunity to answer questions the employer has about you… questions you know they are going to ask. Answering these questions upfront takes the elephant out of the room (removes barriers).
- Why is this person looking for a job?
- Why our company?
- Are they willing to relocate and why?
- Is there an accomplishment in your employment history that would be of particular interest to this particular employer?
Sometimes they don’t read it. This is true. Sometimes, they just go straight to the resume. Sometimes they go straight to the resume and say, “Wait a minute. This candidate looks good. What’s she say in her cover letter about…fill in the blank?” Then, they go back to the cover letter and see you also have great communication skills.’
But, even if they don’t read it, the employer will see that you understand job search protocol… and that is another run on the scoreboard for you “the candidate”.
Yes, you can send your resume without the cover letter, but at a cost that you may never know. Someone else may have sent their resume with a cover letter. A candidate with “equal” experience, but they wrote a cover letter that took them over the top and they got the interview. Someone else wrote about that operational problem they solved at their last employer and the new company said, “Hey, I want this human to help me too!”
So, yes, write and send the cover letter.