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Do I really need to write a cover letter/email, or can I just send my resume when I apply for a job? Don’t people just go straight to the resume, anyway?

Q: Do I really need to write a cover letter/email, or can I just send my resume when I apply for a job? Don’t people just go straight to the resume, anyway?

A: Actually, people do read the cover message, and you should not only write one, you need to make it worth reading. Don’t just repeat the resume or fill space with empty assertions about how uniquely qualified you are or that you are appreciative, in advance, for their time and consideration. Instead, foreshadow briefly what they will see on the resume and provide your reason for wanting the job. You can make it a few short paragraphs if you make them count.