21To Cover Letter or Not to Cover Letter, That Is the Question

If you've conducted a job search at any point in the past decade, or plan to conduct one soon, you should ask yourself the age-old question: “Should I include a cover letter?”

And the answer is, “It depends.”

In a world of information overload, very long job applications, and a bevy of other obstacles to obtaining employment, asking a frustrated, exhausted, and overloaded job seeker to provide MORE information seems a bit cruel.

I mean, how much more information does someone need? They have your resume, they've viewed your LinkedIn profile, they have your application, where you systematically fill out all the information FROM your resume to their online portal. You've filled out all the dates, the jobs, your college graduation dates, your employment history, your blood type and vaccination status. For God's sake, how much more do they want from you?

Well, sometimes they want a cover letter.

Here are the rules of thumb:

  • If you've logged into a company website or online job portal, and you've uploaded your resume and there is a space for a cover letter, and you cannot bypass the page without including one, you must include it. If you can bypass it, do. Don't include it.
  • If you email your resume to a contact or someone you've been introduced to, do NOT include a cover letter. Write a nice little note or email instead. Make sure you name drop the person who introduced you, why you are interested in the job, and any ...

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