Do you need a cover letter?

March 30th, 2009 by lewis

Stephen Van Vreede wrote a nice guest post titled the “Great Cover Letter Debate” over at  It address the question: “Do I really even need a cover letter? Does anyone read them anymore?”  Stephen’s main takeaway: “the reason cover letters aren’t often read isn’t because they are antiquated or even unwanted necessarily; it is because they simply aren’t effective and hiring people are tired of reading them.”

I absolutely agree with Stephen.  As a hiring manager, cover letters fall into one of two categories.  At best, it regurgitates the resume.  At worse, it’s a page long document filled with dense, meaningless paragraphs.
I haven’t seen the perfect cover letter, but personally, I’d like to see a document that summarizes the top 3 reasons why you’re qualified for the job, backed with concrete examples from your work history.  If a job seeker can provide that, I’ll read it.

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