I am applying for a job, but they don't ask for Cover Letter. Should I include a cover letter anyway. If I was on the hiring end, I would look straight at the applicant's resume, and if I am interested, invite them for interview.

5 Answers 5


I use the resume as a general purpose document. I customize the cover letter to specifically state in what ways my work experience and skills set fit the prospective employer's requirements.

The alternative to writing a good cover letter would be for me to create a different resume for each position I am applying for, and I am not about to drive myself crazy doing that.

You can send your resume as-is without a cover letter but if I were the recipient, I'd throw your resume in the trash. I'd figure that if you won't take the time to make the argument as to why you are a good candidate, I don't have to make the time to read your resume either. I am not about to squint through your resume and make for you your argument as to why we should see you for an interview.

  • OUCH!!!! I appreciate your candid reply, cover letter it is!!!
    – Glowie
    Jul 18, 2014 at 23:59
  • 3
    @Glowie Make it a good one :) I've seen a few too many carelessly written cover letters. Remember, the prospective employer doesn't know you from Adam, and you are really introducing yourself to the prospective employer in the cover letter. Jul 19, 2014 at 0:22
  • I certainly shall. As it is I tailor each resume to reflect what they are looking for. I make sure I highlight the technologies, and I use same adjectives they mentioned on job announcement
    – Glowie
    Jul 19, 2014 at 0:33
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    @Glowie You don't need to be super tight on the tecnologies - more than one prospective employer has the unfortunate habit of listing a laundry list without mentioning which technologies are critical to them. In the cover letter, you don't just say you know javascript, you tell them that you are a full stack javascript demon. You are not just a systems engineer, you are a crack systems engineer. Jul 19, 2014 at 1:25
  • Well, I look at the list of technologies and if I ever used it, I explain how I used it to complete a task I am responsible for, i.e. I create PowerShell scripts to update our databases. But I do like "full stack javascript demon" :-)
    – Glowie
    Jul 19, 2014 at 1:29

I am applying for a job, but they don't ask for Cover Letter. Should I include a cover letter anyway.

Unless you are applying through a forms-based website that prevents attaching a cover letter, or unless the job posting specifically mentions "no cover letters", then Yes - include a cover letter anyway.

A cover letter lets you expand on your fit for the position. It's less structured than a resume, and allows you to highlight specific areas that make you a great candidate for that specific job, in that specific company.

It makes sense to put some extra effort into your attempt to land a good job. Write a cover letter specifically for each individual application. Include it whenever you can.


A good resume is like seeing that a smartphone has a 4GHz processor and 8GB of RAM. A good cover is letter is like seeing the first cell phone or smartphone...seeing those pieces in action to spark a narrative in your head that can excite you about concrete possibilities. It's good to have the second ready to follow up if not to lead in.

More formally...Transition Cases:

  1. Converting "Resume and Cover Letter" to "Resume" = when closing thumb and forefinger to grip paper, do not catch front page between fingers.

  2. Converting "Resume" to "Resume and Cover Letter" = look up contact info, contact person, express what you want, wait some time, return to communication medium, download item, open item.

Option #1 puts them in an easy position to correct to the state they want.


No, don't provide a boilerplate cover letter unless there is something you truly need to share. Not all positions are special snowflakes, a good part of openings can be sufficiently covered by a well-written generic resume.

As of 2018, more and more recruiters are making the cover letter optional and in my opinion they recognize that in some cases it's just a noise, making life just a bit harder for both the candidate and for the recruiter.

Nowadays these positions that explicitly require cover letters have an obligatory field in their online application form; these where it's optional have an optional field. No field? Assume they probably don't need a (boilerplate) cover letter.

If you need to share thoughts that are specific to your fit for that job/company, I am sure every recruiter will be happy to read your letter.


I do not read resumes submitted without cover letters. I can't take the time to go through your resume without some kind of introduction and sense of who you are outside of your laundry list of employment.

  • 1
    My manager just throws cover letters in the bin and then skims CVs for interesting stuff. I guess one's mileage varies quite bit on this issue.
    – rath
    May 30, 2016 at 9:31

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