Cover letters are one of those things that nobody enjoys writing or, in some cases, reading and depending on where you look you will be told that they are more important than your CV (The Telegraph) or that they are pointless (Forbes), so should you even bother writing one?
Put simply, yes you should.
It is true that a lot of hiring managers do not read them, the sheer volume of applications that companies receive often makes this impractical, but many hiring managers and companies still value the cover letter as a selection tool. If nothing else, those people who really want a job will take the time to write a good cover letter whereas the serial applicant won’t bother, but they are also an easy way of assessing how well you understand the requirements of the role and a well-written cover letter will reflect this.
So, given that many companies still ask for and still value a cover letter you should take the time to prepare a template that you can quickly tailor to each application which should help you stand out from the crowd. And like the CV, the idea of writing the cover letter is perhaps more daunting than actually doing it, and here are a few Do’s & Don’ts to help.
Once you have put together a good template then it should only take 10 minutes to adapt the cover letter to each application and, like the CV, if you are applying for quite different roles i.e. SEO Specialist for a FTSE100 or Digital PR Manager with a charity, consider creating multiple templates.
You may not be required to use the cover letter with every application but put the time and effort into creating one that you feel confident about and it will, in-turn, give you confidence when applying for roles that require one.