Q: Can it hinder my job search if I don’t write a cover letter?
A: In short, yes. It absolutely can reduce the response rate you’ll receive from your resume and application by not submitting or including a cover letter when you apply. Why is that? A cover letter opens the door to communicating information that isn’t appropriate to include on your resume.
Here are some advantages to using a cover letter:
A cover letter makes a personal introduction. Think, “Hello, Mr. Smith, my name is Jane Doe, and I’m the best project manager for ABC company because …” This shows you did your research, you know who to contact, and you’ve made the effort.
It gives you the ability to plainly state why you’re the best candidate for the job. You can share three reasons why you’re the best person—and you offer more value to the company than candidates X, Y, and Z.
You can make a PERSONAL connection. Do you know someone within the company that referred you? Name drop! Why are you specifically interested in this role? Is there a connection there of personal interest that may be valuable to the employer? What do you know, what information or wisdom do you have that they need?
You can ask for the interview. Asking for the interview increases your chance of getting a call for an interview by somewhere around 50% (I’ve read several different stats about the actual percentage being between 50%-75%, so I’ll go on the conservative side and say it will increase your chances by 50%). I’m not a mathematician, but if there’s a 50% chance they’ll call—and a 50% chance they won’t call you—and then asking for the interview increases your chances of being called even more, doesn’t that mean that now there’s a 75% chance they’ll call and only a 25% chance they won’t? I don’t know about you, but I’d want to up my response rate and results by asking for the interview. Want to know more about how to ask for the interview and exactly what to say? Check out this article for more information.
You can leave them drooling for more … My writers always find this great little tidbit of information to include in the cover letter at the very end that guarantees the employer will read it and want to know more. We utilize a PS in our cover letters to ensure maximum impact. It’s not just about including one—it’s also about what you say in that P.S. And I can guarantee you, we write some incredibly captivating ones—the kind that will have the employer picking up the phone the same day to call you.
With all of these great benefits—each of which increases your possibilities for a response and call for an interview—why wouldn’t you want to utilize a cover letter? It really is a wise decision to utilize one—and it’s in your best interest! So if you were on the fence about whether you should or shouldn’t use a cover letter, I hope I’ve convinced you that it’s one tool you definitely want in your job search arsenal.
Want more great advice like this? Check out these two articles:
P.S. I’d love to meet you on Twitter here.
WANT TO WORK WITH US? Find out more here!
Share this post:
About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
Will your resume impress employers? Take this 2-minute quiz to find out.
Get your personalized plan for a resume that stands out and lands you your dream job!
Need a little help getting hiring managers to take notice? Find out what's standing between you and those magic words "You're exactly who we've been looking for!"