Do You Still Need To Write A Cover Letter?

Career site ResumeLab polled over 200 recruiters and HR pros to see if cover letters could tip the scales in candidates’ favor. Below are some key highlights:


  • 83% of HR professionals think cover letters are essential when making hiring decisions.
  • More than 7 in 10 recruiters expect to receive a cover letter even if they mark them as “optional” in job ads.
  • Less than 40% of applicants care to attach a cover letter even when it’s mandatory.
  • Over a third (36%) of hiring professionals start the evaluation process with the cover letter.


The takeaway? Write a cover letter—even if you think you don’t need to! I talked to Max Woolf, a career expert at ResumeLab who’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs. He shared his tips to rise above the competition and provided some helpful script examples.


Always start with a greeting

These days, you can find any information you need on the internet. So forget "To whom it may concern,” and find the name of the person hiring for the job. Research the company’s site or LinkedIn page, and if you can’t find it, consider cold-calling or emailing someone else at the company.

To increase your chances, your salutation needs to be tailored to each and every job you apply for and address the company’s recruiter by name. If you’re applying for a job at a startup, a good rule of thumb is to go with the first name, i.e. “Dear Tania,” but if the company is more corporate, stick to a formal greeting like "Dear Ms. Smith."

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