As job industries change and evolve, the way in which you apply for a job has changed as well. We have spoken quite a bit about skills-based resumes, but submitting a resume is only one part of the application process. In today’s post, we will review another document you may encounter in your job hunt: the cover letter.  

Do you really need a cover letter when submitting your resume? 

The purpose of a cover letter is a simple letter of introduction and not an explanation of what is in the resume. At one time, a cover letter typically went hand in hand when applying for a job, but in this day and age it is usually not required or is used to see if you can follow simple instructions. The typical rule of thumb here is that if no cover letter is requested, then do not supply one.

Some job postings, like this one from the Government of Alberta clearly states that a cover letter is not required, and that your resume should be comprehensive and highlight your skills, qualifications, and expertise.  Other organizations such as Alberta Health Services and Fortis Alberta outline that a cover letter is optional. “Most employers simply aren’t looking to read another 600 words on why you want the job.” CNBC 

Resumes with Results has a different approach from other professional resume writing companies, as our focus is on Career Marketing. Our skills-based resumes are comprehensive documents, showcasing your skills and expertise easily read by humans and Applicant Tracking Systems.

When to include a cover letter? 

Some job postings state that a cover letter is required. Always include one when asked. Following the directions of the application process is key, so be sure to read the posting thoroughly. A cover letter, by true definition, is a simple letter of introduction and not a letter of explanation of your career history; that is the purpose of a resume.  Keep in mind that just as your resume plays a key role in your application process, so will your cover letter, only if requested.

Avoid using a generic cover letter. Personalize your cover letter and resume to cater to the job posting. Cover letters should be personal in nature and presented in a professional correspondence presented in a professional format. Word choice can also have a significant impact on meaning.  

With each resume written, Resumes with Results offers a variety of services at no additional cost to assist our clients with their job search journey. If you require a cover letter, we can help. We encourage you to reach out to our team to craft a cover letter that markets your unique skillset effectively and efficiently.