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Do covering letters still have a place in an online world?

  • Publish Date: Posted 3 months ago

Should you still write a cover letter with your CV?

Cover letters were first around way before emails and provided the employer with some background as to why you were writing to them and what you knew. Technology has made this redundant now and it’s plausible to say that recruiters don’t really read them. Just because the majority of the online portals allow you to upload a cover letter, it doesn’t mean you have, this is only there because the developers added this feature.

I would only ever send a cover letter when asked to do so by the recruiter, and even when asked to, I would think of it as a strong statement to support my CV and why I’m a good fit for the job role. In place of the cover letter, it’s a good idea to send the recruiter an email explaining why you’re a good fit for the job role and what you could bring to the company.

Should you still provide a cover letter when applying online?

Just because online portals provide the opportunity to upload a cover letter, does not mean that it’s always necessary to do. This function is only here because it was added by the developers, not because its required for every job.

What should you include in your cover letter?

In the instances where it’s good to provide a supporting statement, take the main key requirements from the job description and use those to guide your statement. For each requirement, explain and provide evidence about how you have that skill and where you have used before. Try to include a positive outcome as well.

What should you leave out?

Try to avoid the typical attitude traits that many people include in their CVs and cover letters. For example, typical phrases include being honest, trustworthy, organised etc.

Length of the cover letter?

If asked to provide a cover letter, then the recruiter will usually state how long they want it to be. In the case that they don’t specify, a one to two page statement provides value, whereas anything below one page tends not to be of value.

Do you have any presentation tips for your covering letter?


Start with a paragraph introducing yourself explaining what the role is that you’re applying for. Then move on to outlining who you are and what skills you have and how you can add value to the company. Then take the main requirements from the job description and go through each one providing real-life examples of where you obtained that skill or experience.