Remember the ‘Cover Letter’? Here’s why it is important

ByAnastasia Bahu

Remember the ‘Cover Letter’? Here’s why it is important

Defining the reasons for applying for a particular job and emphasizing the advantages held compared to other applicants may sound challenging but the result of doing so is the Cover Letter, one of the oldest instruments most used by HR professionals to filter and shortlist candidates. Since this document is part of the application package, together with another must-have, the Resume, which we described in one of our previous articles, today we will define its purpose and try to figure out if it really is important.

Donors request various CV formats that should be known and used by job seekers depending on the specific requirements but many donors also ask for a Cover Letter although some may not. Regardless of this, many of us question the need to prepare a Cover Letter – is it really necessary to send one or is just a CV alone sufficient? Let’s look at some of the reasons to prepare one so you can understand if it is really worth investing your time in the creation of a Cover Letter.

What do the stats say?

With little quantitative data available regarding this issue, it would be sensible to consider the behavior of both employers and job seekers as measured by surveys that do exist. Thus, according to a Career Builder survey, 45% of job seekers do not include a cover letter when they apply for a vacancy. However, another survey by the Washington Post shows that 53% of employers prefer candidates who send cover letters with their resumes.

It could be said that for many job postings, the need to include a Cover Letter is not mentioned or the submission of one is described as optional. Nonetheless, the available statistics point towards the importance of preparing a Cover Letter. Indeed, it is fairly certain that a Cover Letter will be decisive if the resume passes the initial filtering process and the candidate is shortlisted.

Make a good impression on the employer

It is very common to see a note from the employer at the end of a job ad inviting you to further discuss your motivation for joining the team. The hiring party wants to feel your enthusiasm. This really could help them to vet and reject the resumes of candidates who automatically submit their CVs without having a real passion for THIS particular role, in THIS particular company.

You are the right fit for the role

A powerfully written Cover Letter allows you to explain to your future boss why your background makes you the ideal candidate for a certain position, and how you could positively influence the organization if you were to be offered the role. Our advice is to mention your soft skills too because these matter a lot! Don’t simply include the hard facts that show your quantifiable achievements although it’s important to mention these too of course.

Explain the employment gaps

Another positive aspect is the Cover Letter’s ability to shed light on your past. So, if you have had a significant gap during your career, or if you changed career sectors, it is worth noting this in your Cover Letter. This will demonstrate the level of your transparency and readiness for an open dialogue, both of which are greatly welcomed and valued by potential employers. It is important to note that the point of your focus should be the relevance of the skills and competencies you have acquired that could be applied to the role you are now targeting.

A personal touch of the Cover Letter

Compared to a CV, a Cover Letter is a document that is able to truly reveal your personality and, in some cases, this increases your chances of being invited to an interview. However, it’s critical to present information in a balanced and professional manner: only 36% of recruiters find cover letters to be useful in presenting the mythical ‘cultural fit’.

Here are a few tips on a balanced and powerful Cover Letter:

  • Don’t ‘be nice’
  • Avoid jokes
  • Keep it professional
  • Focus on your career achievements
  • Be brief and straight to the point

If you are on the way to applying for your next career opportunity and are wondering how to create a Cover Letter that will make you stand out among all the other candidates, we have great news for you because more details on this topic will be revealed in our next article. Stay tuned!

See also: Don’t become accustomed to rejected job applications, tailor your resume and cover-letter


In conclusion, either way, if you’re planning to return to the job market or just would like to have a perfect document that encapsulates the expertise you’ve collected throughout the years, it is indeed a benefit to make an effort to share a Cover Letter with a potential employer! And by the way, DRS Recruiters can help you out with quality tailoring as they have a meticulous eye that is trained to make your CV and Cover Letter really outstanding!