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Asked by Collin on October 11, 2016

Is it necessary to include a cover letter with a resume when applying for a job, if the job doesn't explicitly ask for one?

Answered by Sara, Hiring Expert at Grace, on October 11, 2016

My peers my disagree, but I would not include a cover letter if it does not ask for one. Many times they are read once if read at all. I also find that people make many errors on their cover letters such as forgetting to tailor it to the new company and position. In this case the one item you worked so hard on then becomes a liability. As a recruiter, I would rather you focus on the resume content versus a cover letter. This is a great question and one I get a lot.

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Answered by Sylvia, Hiring Expert at Hewlett-Packard, on October 11, 2016

It's always good to include one. It gives you the chance to explain further why your the ideal candidate for the position. There are many articles about writing a great cover letter with tips and tricks. I would recommend reviewing some before writing one. If they don't specifically ask for one, it is not required of you to include one, but it wouldn't hurt to include a well written one.  

Hope this helps! Best of luck in your job search. 
 

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Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on October 14, 2016

If a cover letter is not specifically asked for, then I would not worry about providing one.  In almost all cases, you are applying for positions electronically now and most of the time, the cover letter is merely an afterthought for a recruiter or hiring manager.   Most electronic application processes provide a space to enter a cover letter and if you do decide to use this, keep it short and simple and write something like 'Please accept this as an indication of my great interested in your XYZ position....'.  The cover letter was more important prior to the days of electronic applications.  Recruiters and hiring managers will not focus as much on it today.

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Answered by Patricia, Hiring Expert at ADP, on December 9, 2016

Unless requested, cover letters are not necessary when applying for a job. For the most part cover letters are overlooked as recruiters focus on what is on a resume. If you would still like to provide a cover letter I suggest making it unique so it captures the eye of a recruiter and hiring manager.

Best Regards,
Patsy Jensen

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