Don’t scrimp on your job application – add a cover letter

A cover letter is essential to most job applications

A cover letter is essential to most job applications

As tempting as it can be to shoot through your resume to recruiters with a quick short email, don’t scrimp on including a more formal cover letter. It’s been said that some recruiters won’t even look at a job application that doesn’t include a cover letter, so why take the risk just to save time.

“The resume focuses on you and the past. The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future.” (Joyce Lain Kennedy – Cover Letter for Dummies)

A cover letter provides the opportunity to introduce more of your personality and your communication skills to your prospective employer. Keeping it professional, the letter should be complementary to your resume, delving deeper into what makes you tick as an employee and how you can be of unique benefit to the organisation.

Including a cover letter with your resume also highlights your initiative and commitment – particularly if you’ve researched the employer as well as the job ad, to both keyword-optimise and align content with the organisation’s culture and needs. It’s really going to help you stand out from other job applicants that haven’t made the effort to include a cover letter.

In addition, taking the time to put together an organisation-specific cover letter may save time with respect to your resume. The more that you align the application letter with the employer’s specific needs, the less you’ll probably have to tweak your resume – assuming you’re consistently applying for the same type of role.

The use of a cover letter is also an ideal way to engage readers with your resume. Making reference to specific highlights within your resume will encourage the recruiter to review both documents at the same time.


Walton’s Words has written career development documentation across a range of job roles and industries, including resumes, cover letters and selection criteria (as well as LinkedIn profiles). Drop us a line or give us a call if you’d like to discuss your next career step further.