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Is A Cover Letter Really Necessary When Compiling Your CV?

Updated: Jun 13

In the realm of job hunting, the debate over whether a cover letter is truly essential often sparks heated discussions. Some argue that it’s a relic of the past, while others staunchly believe it’s a crucial component of a job application. So, where does the truth lie in this ongoing debate? Let’s delve into the matter.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the purpose of a cover letter. Essentially, it serves as a complement to your CV, providing you with an opportunity to introduce yourself, highlight key experiences and skills, and express your enthusiasm for the position you're applying for. In essence, it’s your chance to make a personalized pitch to the hiring manager, showcasing why you are the ideal candidate for the job.

However, in today’s fast-paced world, some argue that cover letters are often overlooked or skimmed over by hiring managers. With the advent of applicant tracking systems (ATS) and the sheer volume of applications received for each job opening, recruiters may prioritize quickly scanning CVs for relevant qualifications rather than delving into cover letters.

Yet, there are compelling reasons to consider including a cover letter with your CV.

Firstly, it provides an opportunity to address any gaps or anomalies in your CV, such as career changes or extended periods of unemployment, which may not be immediately apparent from a cursory glance at your resume.

Additionally, a well-crafted cover letter allows you to tailor your application to the specific job and company, demonstrating your understanding of their needs and how you can contribute to their success.

Moreover, a cover letter enables you to showcase your personality and communication skills in a way that a CV alone cannot. It’s your chance to inject some humanity into your application and leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager. A compelling narrative that highlights your passion for the role and aligns with the company’s values can set you apart from other candidates with similar qualifications.

In essence, while the necessity of a cover letter may vary depending on the industry, company culture, and specific job application, it’s generally wise to err on the side of caution and include one with your CV.

Even if it’s not explicitly required, a well-written cover letter can serve as a valuable tool to help you stand out in a competitive job market and increase your chances of landing an interview.

Ultimately, the decision to include a cover letter boils down to your individual circumstances and preferences. However, considering the potential benefits it can offer in terms of personalization, storytelling, and highlighting your suitability for the role, it’s certainly worth the effort to craft one tailored to each job application. After all, in the competitive landscape of job hunting, every opportunity to make a positive impression counts.


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