5 Reasons Why Cover Letters Are Still Necessary in 2020

It seems almost like common knowledge now, hiring managers don’t read resumes or cover letters. So why are they still necessary? For the job seeker, they take considerable amounts of time to create. And when applying for more than ten positions, you have to write ten customized cover letters.

So the question still is, why are cover letters necessary? Managers don’t read them. And they don’t truly make a difference in terms of your chances of getting an offer letter.

We’re going to walk through the top reasons why writing your cover letter is still important. And why you should spend the time to create a customized and targeted cover letter for the jobs you really want.

In this short guide we’re going to cover:

  • Top reasons why you should still write a cover letter.
  • Why you might feel like you shouldn’t have to create a cover letter for your job application.
  • Why cover letters aren’t important for the hiring manager.
  • And lastly, how to save time when creating your cover letter.

Ready? Let’s jump right in!

Table of Contents

Top Reasons Why Having a Cover Letter Is Still Important

Reason 1: It looks like you care

This is a really good reason. Even if your cover letter isn’t the best cover letter in the world, having it as part of your job application attachments shows that you took the time to think through the position. And write something down on paper as to why you felt you are a good fit for the position.

By not having the passionate about the position.

Reason 2: To some managers, it might still matter

There’s always a chance that you’ll submit your job application and there will be one interviewer or one manager who will care about your cover letter. Some managers hire by looking for faults, instead of looking for qualities and reasons to hire you.

When they’re doing this, they might examine your cover letter in-depth and then start asking you questions about it. This is a good reason to spend time on your cover letter.

Reason 3: It helps you to understand why you’re applying for the position

Going through the process of writing a cover letter can help you understand the job requirements, the reasons why you feel you’re a good fit for the position, and have short and merits that apply to the job functions.

If anything, this will help you during the interview stage. You’ll have thought already placed into the communication that you might want to provide to the interviewer.

Reason 4: It will help you craft your job application email

Having your cover letter written out will help you when you go to submit your job application by email. This email should contain a body of the message that’s similar to your cover letter but much shorter.

Reasons why you are a good fit, showing you understand the job requirements, having a “hook” for the reader, and generally being an interesting and qualified candidate.

By having your cover letter written out, you can repurpose that for the email you’ll be sending.

Reason 5: HR teams will want it

Let’s say you knew the manager. Or had a good business relationship with them. Even if you knew that you already had an interview lined up, the Human Resources team may still want a cover letter. They see all job applicants as needing to have a certain set of applicant assets. This would include a cover letter, resume, reference letter, and more.

Why Do I Feel I Shouldn’t Have to Write a Cover Letter?

After reading all of those healthy reasons why you should write one, you still may feel like you don’t want to. And you’re absolutely valid in feeling that way. Creating something that others won’t appreciate or utilize can kill your motivation.

But remember, most job applicants will not target and craft their cover letter to the job function they’re applying for. You want to be a unique and high quality candidate. And this could absolutely be a way to facilitate that.

Write your cover letter, spend time on it, and commit!

How Can I Save Time When Writing It?

Since we’re already concluded that it’s hard to be enthusiastic about writing a cover letter, how can we save time when writing one? The best thing you can do is keep your cover letter short and focus on your bullet points.

Bring up simple, thoughtful, and impactful metrics that show you are a great candidate for the position. This will allow you to spend less time telling a story and more time telling facts.

Cover Letter FAQ's

Questions and answers from job seekers.

Why is a cover letter important to the job description?

When a recruiter or hiring manager decides to post a job ad online, they have spent a lot of time thinking through the requirements of the role. Your employer wants to see that you have the ability to speak to those requirements through your cover letter. This is usually addressed in the second paragraph of your cover letter. And that you have experience being able to drive results in that specific job and title.

Is a cover letter vital for any application?

Yes, you should always include a cover letter in your application assets when applying for a job opportunity. This can show that you have a long career of being a professional in this specific position and that you know how to pitch yourself as a professional who can meet each qualification the prospective employer is looking for.

Will my cover letter get me a job interview and job offer?

It will certainly help in getting you the interview. But in terms of getting you the job offer, this is something that's going to be determined by your ability to interview well. Writing valuable points in your cover letter can be very beneficial in this process, though. Speaking to your achievements or your personal brand in the first paragraph of your cover letter can certainly influence the hiring manager.

Do I have to write a unique cover letter for each application in my job search?

Yes, an effective cover letter is customized to each employer or potential employer. This is what makes a plain cover letter a strong cover letter— a reason for the hiring manager to be paying attention to what you've been able to accomplish in your career and using that as a method of deciding to interview you.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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