There is a trend to the effect that cover letters are not very useful and that most decisions are made based on the resume. It may be true that some recruiters don't bother reading cover letters anymore because they are flooded with applications, or because they may have reached a point where looking at job applications has become routine. However, as a job seeker, you should always send a cover letter, unless specifically asked not to. If there's even just a remote chance that it may help you, you ought to take the time to write one.
Following are some reasons why you should write a cover letter:
It is important for some recruiters to know why a candidate is interested in a position. The cover letter offers candidates the opportunity to explain why they want to join the organization and why they believe they would do well in the position.
As a job seeker, you want to take advantage of all the chances you can get to stand out. Imagine a recruiter receiving resumes by the handful and then comes your application, accompanied by a well-written cover letter. The time, effort and attention you put into writing your cover letter will not go unnoticed.
Between the Lines
In professions where communication is important, employers will use the cover letter to assess your writing skills and how you structure your thoughts. It says a lot about you if you can write a compelling cover letter and open a door that most people would think is closed. If you can open the door to the job interview with the power of your written words, now that’s impressive!
In some instances, writing a cover letter will make the difference between your application being considered and your application being discarded upfront. If you are changing career, applying to a new industry or relocating, you have to put your best foot forward and level the playing somehow. Otherwise, why would an employer hire you over someone else who is at first sight more qualified and/or local?
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A well-written cover letter can be powerful and your trump card to the job interview. It just takes an open-minded recruiter willing to give you a chance. Sometimes, it comes down to “why not?”