/ Asked by Jonathan
A lot of companies have space on their online job application pages for cover letters and/or comments. Is it necessary to fill these out? Will it help or hurt your chances?
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, December 6, 2013
I would recommend that you always provide some information in this area.  I don't feel that it is necessary to write a long, detailed cover letter, however, a short and concise note is appropriate and shows that you have a legitimate interest in the job.  In this note be sure to express your interest in the job, being sure to list the specific job title (and in some cases requisition or job number).  Also, include a comment along the lines of how you feel the position is strong fit with your career aspirations and how you look forward to learning about the next steps.  That is sufficient for this part of the on-line application process.  It shows you are detail oriented, as you did not overlook any part of the application process and have a strong interest in the position.
Answered by Jennifer, Hiring Expert at Verizon, on Friday, December 6, 2013
Some companies require cover letters be submitted as part of the application, but in most cases, it is usually an option. Cover letters can be helpful most especially in cases where you'd like to express interest in the particular position you are applying for in a more personalized form. It gives you the opportunity to further highlight your qualifications for the position in detail. I'd recommend that you highlight an experience that you may not have been able to include in your resume. Good luck!
Answered by Sharon, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, December 9, 2013
These are not necessary for you to fill out. It is simply to give you an opportunity to add additional information not asked anywhere else or covered on you resume. It doesn't harm you to leave them blank.
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
While it is typically optional, it is best to not leave any area(s) blank within the application.  A cover letter provides you an opportunity to speak directly to the position and correlate your skills and qualifications to the needs of the business. Share experience(s) related to the scope of the job you are applying for.

Bottom line?  Never pass on an opportunity to let your voice; verbal or written, speak directly to the recruiter or hiring manager.  Good luck!
Answered by Siobhan, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A cover letter can be a great opportunity to expand on your interest in the position and why your background is a good fit. While your resume is a high level showcase of your experiences, your cover letter offers you a channel to provide additional details. The Some companies may only review candidates that submit a cover letter along with their resume, while some may not require one. It varies. If you do provide a cover letter, make sure that it is tailored to the position – using a generic cover letter does not help your chances. Best of luck in your search! - Laura, Accenture campus recruiter
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