“Do I have to include a cover letter?”
People ask me this all the time. What they really mean is “I’d rather play with swimming cats than write a cover letter, but if you tell me I have to I will”. And I can appreciate that.
I’ll give you the good news first. If you are applying to a recruitment agency, don’t bother. They are too busy to read your cover letter. Instead, I would suggest putting all your eggs into your resume basket and make sure it stands out.
If you are applying to a hiring manager, include a cover letter but don’t spend too much time on it. Be generic, polite and I beg you to spell their name correctly. You won’t recover from a miss-spelled name, so if you aren’t going to get that right you are better off without one.
And finally, if you are addressing the owner of a business, settle in and get personal with this letter. These people want to know you care about them, so make them feel special. Look at their website, speak to their company values, align them with your own. If you think you are being overly cheesy, you aren’t. They want you drinking their Kool-Aid.
So do you have to include a cover letter? Absolutely not. The key is to know who you are applying to and put in the effort to create a cover letter or resume that will set you up as a standout candidate.
And don’t worry; we can help!