#AskJUGS: 3 Reasons You Still Need a Cover Letter


As a career strategist, I am absolutely a cover letter enthusiast—but I know that I’m in the minority. When done well, they can be time consuming for the candidate, and yes, I know that many recruiters don’t take the time to look at them.

With over a decade of experience in hiring and career coaching, I can confidently say that you still need a cover letter. Here are three reasons why they are worth the effort!

They may not consider candidates without a complete application

I’ve heard hiring managers say they won’t consider applicants that don’t include a cover letter—and I also hear from people who don’t read them at all.

We generally don’t know what approach will be taken when we’re applying for jobs online, so it makes good sense to be as thorough and complete as possible. You don’t want to look like you aren’t the kind of candidate who doesn’t take initiative or complete work—so including a cover letter keeps you looking professional.


It’s a fantastic way to share your story

A cover letter is an opportunity to lift the curtain and allow hiring managers to see how you work and what the result is. While your resume is likely to contain relevant highlights and achievements, you can share more details and demonstrate your value with compelling examples that demonstrate your contributions and value.

It can also be a great place to share a bit about what you’ve learned if you’re planning a career change. Ideally, your resume and cover letter are complementary. They share similar things but not in the same way! 

It’s the best kind of interview prep strategy 

Here’s the real secret strategy behind a well written cover letter: it is an amazing way to prepare for phone and in-person interviews.

Your ability to distill your experience into relevant and compelling soundbites is essential in the job search process. There is no better way to start preparing for that process than to begin writing and editing your story in a cover letter prepared for a specific opportunity. 

I’ll be sharing more tips on writing a stand out cover letter in the next post in this series, but here’s a tip for now: don’t put too much pressure on yourself to sit down and write the perfect cover letter in one sitting.

Want to learn more?

Jenn Walker Wall writes a monthly career advice column called #AskJUGs for JustUsGalsBos.com and is the founder of Work Wonders Coaching + Consulting. You can follow her on Twitter: @JennWalkerWall and for more career tips and advice - or to ask questions about your cover letter, follow her on Instagram.