Are Cover Letters Useful when applying for a Job position?

Are Cover Letters Useful when applying for a Job position?

Anaëlle Guyomard

Talented International

Are Cover Letters Useful when applying for a Job position?



Cover letter are a huge question mark for many candidates nowadays: while some companies/ recruiters really sell the benefits of having a cover letter in an application process, other tend to say they are now completely obsolete.


It can be a bit confusing at times, as not all companies mention whether or not you need a cover letter with your resume while applying for a position. And so, the following question arises: Are cover letter useful? and Should you add one to your application


Today we are going to dive into this question and answer it the best we can!




As said previously, depending on the company you are applying for, cover letters are not always wanted or expected, but there are still some advantages worth the time of writing a proper cover letter.



Advantages of Including a Cover Letter:



  • A Cover letter provides you with an opportunity to show your personality, it allows you to inject some of your personality and character into your application. While a resume is typically more formal and structured, a cover letter gives you the opportunity to showcase your writing style and convey your enthusiasm for the position.


  • It allows you to tailor your application to the specific job you are applying for. A well-crafted cover letter can demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the company and understand the position you’re applying for. By highlighting your relevant skills and experiences and explaining why you’re a good fit for the role, you can make a stronger case for why the company should consider you for the position.


  • It demonstrates your writing and communication skills: In many jobs, strong writing and communication skills are essential. By writing a clear, concise, and persuasive cover letter, you can demonstrate that you have the ability to effectively communicate your ideas and present yourself in a professional manner.



  • Writing a cover letter shows your attention to detail. By taking the time to write a thoughtful and well-crafted cover letter, you demonstrate that you’re detail-oriented and willing to put in the extra effort to make a good impression. This can be especially important in jobs where attention to detail is highly valued, such as in project management or administrative roles.


  • A cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants who are only submitting a resume. By demonstrating your interest in the position and the company, and providing more context and detail about your qualifications, you can make a stronger case for why you’re the best fit for the job.


  • Cover letters provide an opportunity to address potential concerns: if there are any gaps in your resume or other potential concerns that the hiring manager may have, a cover letter can provide an opportunity to address these issues head-on. For example, if you’re transitioning to a new field or have a gap in your employment history, you can explain why you’re excited about the new opportunity and how your skills and experiences make you a strong candidate.



Disadvantages of Including a Cover Letter:



  • If your cover letter simply restates the information already provided in your resume, it won’t add much value to your application and will most likely end up being a waste of time for both you and the hiring manager.


  • Writing a compelling cover letter takes time and effort, and if you’re applying to multiple jobs, this can be a significant investment of your time. If you’re not confident in your writing skills or don’t enjoy the process of writing, this can be a daunting task.


  • Some companies may not require a cover letter, or may explicitly state that they do not want one. In this case, submitting a cover letter could actually work against you, as it shows that you’re not following directions or paying attention to the job requirements.



  • If you’re applying to multiple jobs and using the same cover letter for each application, it may come across as generic and impersonal. In this case, the hiring manager may not see much value in your cover letter and may view it as a formality rather than a meaningful part of your application.


  • Your cover letter may not be read. Even if you put a lot of time and effort into your cover letter, there’s no guarantee that the hiring manager will read it. In some cases, the hiring process may be highly automated, with resumes and cover letters being scanned by software before they’re even seen by a human.


  • Last but not least, a cover letter can’t make up for a weak resume. While a cover letter can help you stand out and provide more context about your qualifications, it can’t make up for a weak resume. If your resume doesn’t effectively showcase your skills and experiences, no amount of cover letter writing will be able to compensate for that.



Additional Considerations:



  • Customization is key: if you decide to include a cover letter, it’s important to tailor it to the specific job and company you’re applying to. Use the job description and company website to identify the key skills and attributes they’re looking for, and highlight how your own experiences and qualifications align with those requirements.


  • Keep it concise. While a cover letter should provide more detail than a resume, it’s still important to keep it concise and to the point. Hiring managers are often busy and may not have time to read a lengthy cover letter, so aim to keep it to one page or less.


  • A cover letter should be focused on the employer’s needs and how you can contribute to their organization. Avoid the temptation to simply talk about your own skills and experiences, and instead emphasize how those skills and experiences can be valuable to the employer.


  • Finally, proofread and edit carefully. A cover letter with typos or grammatical errors can undermine your credibility and make a poor impression on the hiring manager. Take the time to proofread and edit your cover letter and consider asking a friend or mentor to review it as well.




In conclusion, whether or not to include a cover letter in your job application ultimately depends on a variety of factors, including the specific job and company, your own writing skills and preferences, and the amount of time and effort you’re willing to invest. While there are certainly advantages to including a cover letter, it’s important to consider whether it will add value to your application, or if it will simply be redundant or ignored.


If you do end up writing one, customizing your cover letter, keeping it concise, and focusing on the employer’s needs, will for sure help you make a strong case for why you’re the best fit for the job.


Talent Sales Account Manager

Talented International – Artificial Intelligence Recruiting

Barcelona – Berlin – Dublin – Paris

Phone : +33 1 84 88 97 97


Need more HR advice and recruitment tips? Get in touch with us!