Are Cover Letters Necessary in 2021?

Published on: 18 December 2020

You have the perfect resume. You have written everything you need and made yourself look like a steal.

And now you start wondering: will I crush it with a cover letter?

That’s the question.

Well, the answer is not that hard. Cover letters are a must do.

That’s what we think and in the next lines follow some convincing and examples.

If you are in doubt how to write yours the best, you can always take ideas from our Cover Letter Examples.

Curiously, we’ll start our love letter to cover letters with a fact that’s going to set us back.

Cover letter interest is on the decline

According to Google trends for “cover letter” worldwide searches, we could see the popularity of this term going down.

For the last 12 months in 2020, from January to March there was a peak popularity for the expression “cover letter”. However, after 5 April 2020 there are not so many searches on this topic. It drops between 50 and 75%.

Enhancv Are Cover Letters Necessary in 2021?

As you can see on the graph, the interest in cover letters is slowly declining through time.

Nevertheless, cover letters could still be an important part of your application, depending on what your story is.

Are cover letters necessary?

Well, no. We believe, however, that they can be helpful.

The Internet is full of the same old advice on this topic. Write a cover letter if

  1. you know the employer
  2. you know the hiring manager
  3. the position requires one, and if
  4. someone referred you.

And yes, that’s not all there’s to it.

Let’s separate the wheat from chaff.

Why is a cover letter important

A well-written cover letter shows the Recruiter that you are a great fit for the company you are applying for.

Even though it’s a little bit controversial, 74% of the decision-makers agree that sending a cover letter is almost always the best decision and prefer to receive one even if it’s optional.

When it comes to the direct application process (for instance through an email) cover letter is required 64% of the time.

What’s more, for vacancies advertised via automated online tools (e.g. job boards), 61% recruiters require cover letters.

We understand that a big percent of the Hiring Managers need or expect a cover letter.

Let’s see which are the main topics you can add in yours.

Work Experience Gaps

If you have a work experience gap, always write a cover letter, especially if the gap was soon. You may have taken a maternity leave, a break from work to study, travel, or invested time to develop yourself.

Explain why you have that gap, what did you learn, and how it is going to help you on your new job.

Point out the benefits you got from taking that time off.

Enhancv Are Cover Letters Necessary in 2021?

Source: The Monster

The Recruiter will appreciate that.

Don’t make excuses and don’t blame anybody.

They will understand.

Another example is when you are taking care for an ill family member.

Enhancv Are Cover Letters Necessary in 2021?

Source: The Monster

The candidate says that he not only paid attention to his dad, but also studied independently, participated in industry news groups and improved his skills and abilities.

Culture Fit

You know why you are a good fit for the company, right?

Then tell them.

Use your cover letter to express your personal strengths, team work, and achievements.

Tell how you overcame difficult situations in your previous workplace and what you learned. Say how you have helped the company achieve its goals.

Resume Expansion

You have made a one-page resume but you have a lot more to tell?

Then cover letter is your perfect choice.

It’s tempting to want to fill your cover letter with all your past jobs and accomplishments, but why give employers the same thing twice? They already read that in your resume.

Don’t just describe your career experience — don’t do your letter dull read— better expand on a few key accomplishments, and let your resume do the rest.

You have the freedom to add whatever you want in your cover letter, just keep it on point.

You have mentioned your skills fleetingly in your resume. Now, write a few words about them. Why do you think you have these abilities? How did they help you in your work?

Share what you are proud of, tell them what you could do for the company and how they will benefit from you.

Career Change Explanation

If you have made a sharp turn for your career, your resume will look kind of hideous at first.

In this case, a cover letter is necessary.

Take your time to explain why you have switched careers, what do you want to achieve in your new work. Tell them which of your old skills are transferable and how are they going to help you if you start in this position.

Enhancv Are Cover Letters Necessary in 2021?

Source: The Muse

This is a perfect example of someone who decided to switch careers after many years in one profession.

The candidate tells why he changed their career and transferred his love working with people to the new position.

His passion is making him a perfect fit.

Conclusion

We answered the question “Are cover letters necessary?”

Now you know they are not.

However, cover letters are an extremely useful addition to your resume. They bring character and soul to the factful CV you wrote.

There you have all the freedom you want.

Well, actually, there are a few rules. You could make the writing easy peasy with our Cover Letter Checklist.

What is your opinion on the necessity of cover letters before reading this article? Do you have other suggestions when cover letters are important? Tell us in the comments.

Kal Dimitrov

Kal has 10 years of experience as a marketer and lecturer in youth leader organisations, with a focus on career and job skills enhancement. He has written and edited over 100 resume creation guides for different jobs. Kal is also a co-founder of a career accelerator hub that helps students and recent graduates excel at job interviews and get the job of their dreams.

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