Should You Bother With a Cover Letter?

If you’re looking for a job and have been for a while you probably have a love/hate relationship with the cover letter. Okay, more like hate/HATE, but you get the point. After all, who even reads them? You don’t want to put a shed load of work into a cover letter for it to be shoved straight into the bin. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about cover letters. Confused yet?

To gain a bit more clarity we answer some common questions and dispell some myths to help you decided whether you should bother with a cover letter.

Does Anyone Read Them?!

It’s the most commonly asked questions and the hardest to answer. Let’s eat the frog and get to the bottom of this. Yes, people do still read them particularly if you’re changing job roles or entering into a new market. The cover letter is a perfect place to showcase how your experience relates to the new opportunity. Otherwise, the answer is a firm no, people don’t read them.

It’s a sad reality because what you should be sending is a standard CV with a tailored cover letter. Unfortunately, the cover letter you spent 2 hours on is ignored. However, if a job role requires one you must send one. Will it be read? Probably not, but failure to do so demonstrates that you can follow orders. Don’t make it easier for a hiring manager to ignore you, write a cover letter.

What Should I Include?

There are a number of formats you can follow but ultimately the cover letter should tell the manager why you are perfect for the job. Simple as that.

Beyond that, read the employers website and adopt the tone of voice they use. Don’t send a cover letter with the same tone-of-voice for a tech start-up to a finance company, it wouldn’t make sense.

What Is the Difference Between a CV and Cover Letter?

They both have a lot in common but are vastly difference. While they both mention what makes you the best candidate they approach the task in two different ways. In a roundabout way, the CV should be functional and the cover letter should be expressive. What we mean by that is the cover letter is the

What we mean by that is the cover letter is the fluffy part, the narrative you create for yourself and presented directly to an individual reader. The CV is essentially just a functional document with your skills and outcomes.

How Long Should It Be?

No more than one page. Recruiters and hiring managers want information in concise paragraphs so keep it short and sweet. Just like this paragraph.

So, in conclusion only write a cover letter if you need to. Otherwise, take the two hours you would of spend writing one and pop down the pub for a well-deserved pint.