Cover letters provide context for your resume and your story. A strong cover letter will succinctly tell a prospective employer why you’re interested in working for them, how your skills and experiences align with the role, and explain why this position is the right next step for your career. Cover letters should be targeted and incorporate what you’ve learned from your career conversations, the job description, and the research you have done.

Cover letters are a way to demonstrate your written communication skills, illustrate your applicable transferable skills, and express your enthusiasm for the company and role.

Companies will often ask for cover letters but not require them. We recommend submitting a cover letter if you’re making a pivot (role, industry, or geography) as it provides another opportunity to contextualize your pivot and highlight your transferable skills.