We have covered this topic in our Revision Resume blog numerous times, but it's worth repeating! We highly recommend you submit a cover letter any time you can. In this blog let's explore what we mean:
How Do I Know if I Can Submit a Cover Letter?
How are you submitting your application for the job posting? If you are filling out an online application, you should see a place to upload your resume. Is there also a way to upload a cover letter? Most job postings allow a cover letter to be included as a separate upload, but not all. If you are submitting for a job without a place to attach a cover letter, you don't need to create one. Otherwise, we recommend you do.
In other cases, you may be emailing your resume to a hiring manager or recruiter directly. This makes it very easy! You can include a second attachment to your email for the cover letter or just put it in the body of your email.
How Do I know if a Cover Letter is Required?
Read the job posting closely. What is required for the job application should be clearly stated within the posting. It may not be until the very end, however, so make sure you do a thorough reading.
As you are filling out the online application, you may find that you are required to upload both a resume and a cover letter prior to finalizing the submission.
Revision Resume advises you to follow the directions on the job posting EXACTLY. Any job seeker needs to demonstrate they can follow directions and pay attention to details. Remember: this is truly the first impression you will make! If a cover letter is required, be sure to include one with your application.
When is a Cover Letter Optional?
Again, read the job posting closely. We even suggest printing it out and highlighting the important aspects, so you can clearly see what is necessary for the job application.
You may find that the job posting states a cover letter is optional. Now you have a decision to make. Do you want to include one or not?
Again, Revision Resume recommends always including a cover letter when allowed, even if it is optional. Don't miss this additional opportunity to advocate for yourself! Beyond communicating that you are an ideal fit for the post, many job seekers have a potential red flag (overqualified, potential age discrimination, relocating, job gap, etc.) that can be quickly explained in a cover letter so that the resume isn't passed over.
Still unsure if you need a cover letter or not? Reach out to us at Revision Resume! We can help you determine what would be best for your unique situation!