Should I include a Cover Letter?

We are often asked ” When should I include a cover letter?”

Read our advice on how to make sure you are on the right side of the Cover Letter question

Let’s get the most obvious scenario out of the way.

Scenario 1:
The advert for the job asks you for a Cover Letter with the CV? Then you should send a Cover Letter ✅

Scenario 2:
You are responding to an advert for a job listed by an agency or jobs board that asks for you to send your CV. Then you do NOT need to send a cover letter as chances are it won’t be read ❌

Scenario 3:
You are  completing an online application form which includes a question on “Why I think I am suitable for this role”. Then you do NOT need to send an additional cover letter – you should have said it all in the application form ❌

Scenario 4:
You are applying to a job advert directly from the employer. It asks for your CV, but doesn’t specifically mention a Cover Letter. Our advice here is to take the time to write a Cover Letter to include with your CV. There is a 50% chance they will be expecting it and will read it.  That’s strong enough odds to invest time in writing it.  Use the company name in your letter – make sure they know it is written for them and not a generic cover letter you use for every application. ✅

Scenario 5:
There is no job advertised. You are being proactive and are sending speculative applications to companies you think may be hiring in the future. Your target companies may also be currently looking for staff but are not advertising the vacancies – which accounts for up to 70% of all jobs by the way. Then you DO need a cover letter and sending a speculative CV without one is a complete waste of time ✅

Check out our career resources for advice on cover letters and other career management topics

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