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Cover Letters are Dead. Long Live the Cover Letter!

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Job hunting can be tough, especially when it comes to determining whether a cover letter is essential for your application. While some may argue that cover letters are outdated, others believe that they are crucial in showcasing your professionalism and skills. As a certified resume writer and career coach, I believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

When to include a cover letter:

While a cover letter may not always be necessary, it can set you apart from other candidates in certain situations. If you want to convey a highly professional message and highlight your key skills, then a well-written cover letter tailored to each role can help you stand out. Even if an employer doesn’t explicitly request a cover letter, sending one can elevate your candidacy and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position.

Some companies may require a cover letter in their job postings, so it’s crucial to follow their instructions and submit a flawless letter. Additionally, some industries, such as law, medicine, higher education, and engineering, often expect a cover letter. Doing your research and understanding the industry’s expectations can help you determine whether to include a cover letter.

When not to include a cover letter:

On the other hand, failing to submit a cover letter when it’s expected can harm your chances of landing an interview. However, if a cover letter isn’t required or expected, skipping it likely won’t hurt your application. That being said, a well-written cover letter can still make you stand out and showcase your strengths and enthusiasm for the position.

Ultimately, while a cover letter is situational, writing a polished one can only benefit your application. So, my advice is to consider each job posting and determine whether a cover letter is necessary. If so, write a compelling letter that highlights your skills and sets you apart from other candidates.

Chris Kidd is the owner of,,, and

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