Cover Letter: Is it still essential or not? 

You’ve filled up your name, contact number, email and also attached your resume.

But just before you submit your job application, while double-checking your details, you come across this line:

[Insert Cover Letter] Optional.

You’re about to ignore it–after all, it says ‘optional’.

But what if it’ll increase your chances of scoring an interview? What if you skim out on it and miss a good opportunity?

Have you ever been in this situation before?

It can be a frustrating and confusing dilemma to face, especially in this age of job search platforms where your applications no longer go directly into your prospective employer’s inbox.

What should you do?. 

Let’s hear what the experts have to say:

You should submit a cover letter if :

  1. The job you are applying for is a formal, traditional or corporate company 
  2. You have valuable information to share that’s not conveyed in your resume
  3. You have a personal connection or referral for this job

Although your resume allows your employer to see if you have the skills required for the role you are applying, having a cover letter will enable you to personally share with the employer why you personally are a great fit too. It not only helps you stand out from the crowd but also helps to communicate important information that your resume could not share. Additionally, employers often expect to receive a cover letter even though they did not state the need for one in their job advertisement. 

It is also important to note that candidates who do not take the time to compose a cover letter, maybe often viewed as less motivated for the job as well.

However, there are also instances where you should not include a cover letter. 

No letter is much better than a poorly written one. Your cover letter serves as a sample of your writing abilities, so if you do not have the time to correctly write a well-crafted cover letter that showcases your skills and positions your suitability for the job, then you are better without one. 

Another instance you should not include a cover letter is when the job application does not state that they want one as you may portray the image that you do not know how to follow instructions. 

So, make sure that you adhere to the requirements of the job application, and not miss out on the opportunity to make your pitch to impress the hiring manager.