Cover Letters: Do I Really Need One?

I remember the days leading up to graduation like yesterday. I was stressed the hell out between the 3 F’s – but trust me, I’m thankful they didn’t directly pertain to my grades. My 3 F’s were family, finals and finding a job. I was stressed about my family coming to graduation and making all sorts of accommodations. Stressed not so much my grades but wanting to finish my finals. And of course finding a job in a very competitive job market was a stressful experience on its on. I had been working basically my whole life for this moment and could barely hold it together. However I pushed through and made it out of hell week. My stress from family and finals went away within walking across that stage. However finding a job remained priority and stress number 1.

Now I remember going through college being told to try to be as involved as possible because it looks good on a resume. I was told that your resume is your platform to really showcase what you have done in your life time. Keep in mind with this platform you only have a significant amount of space to work with so it is important that you properly manage this space. Your resume is almost like the wedge in the door getting you closer to the job your applying for. Trust having a great resume is well… half…. maybe a third.. lets just say a quarter of the battle. The rest comes solely from what you put into it. Now of course there is also another piece of data that you can bring along that to many tends to get overlooked because of the amount of time it takes to create it. This magical data goes by one name that bring dread to most job seeking individuals as it means your really going to have to take the time to read, research and format. If your reading this now… I’m talking about a Cover Letter.

What is a Cover Letter? Well by definition is just the same thing as a resume however in this document you aren’t just listing your positions and what you do. Instead you are catering to the job description. Now what exactly does that entail? Well when you look into a job posting, this posting generally has a list of requirements and expected skills or qualifications. If these skills listed on the job posting are not already listed on your resume this is the perfectly opportunity for you to describe how you may be able to accommodate to those wants and needs of the company your applying for, giving you have those skills. Not only will this make you stand out among others but it also helps bring character to who you are as a person.

But how necessary are cover letters? I’m sure we all have ran into this particular issue before, where you may have found a job posting you really want to apply for and it ask for you to submit a resume and if possible a cover letter. Without thinking it through, you only submit your resume. Your resume should be able to describe you skills and all that you accomplished right? According to an article, written by Jillian Kramer for, career coach Hallie Crawford was quoted saying “If they say it’s optional, they may be vetting out who’s truly motivated for the position by who takes the time to compose a cover letter”. However this argument goes two ways. There are also many who believe that due to the advancements that we have made in the workforce that cover letters are dead and that your resume and interview should be waht determines if you get a call back. This is definitely debatable topic, and at the end of the day is ultimately your decision.

No matter who you are you will run into this roadblock at one point in your quest for employment. A cover letter both threatening and scary due to the amount of care and tediousness you must treat it, still can be what puts you through to the next step. While not always necessary, it is worth it for you to decide if you want to include one beside your resume. Your resume can speak a big game, but is it enough? You decide and don’t second guess yourself.

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Written by Johnnie (Jojo) Buck

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Johnnie is a native of Lansing, MI. He graduated from Central Michigan University, in the Spring class of 2017, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication. Currently he is a radio DJ for Hip-hop based radio station, Power 96.5, in Lansing. In his spare time he enjoys reading, working out, and spending time with his family. Johnnie hopes to one day become the next, biggest correspondent for BET.

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