Most job descriptions still ask for a cover letter, and most people will ship off the standard cover letter they send for every job application. Many times they will forget to edit the text and end up sending a letter addressed to Ms. Smith that’s meant for Mr. Jones, or one that refers to a Walgreens position when they’re applying to work at CVS.
Just as your résumé must be tailored to the job description, so must your cover letter. If your résumé makes it through the applicant tracking system of a large company or by the candidate screener at a smaller firm, a hiring manager will generally open the résumé first to find out if he or she wants to know more about you. If your résumé grabs his or her attention in the few seconds spent skimming the top, headlines and companies/positions you’ve held, you’re in luck. He or she just might open and read your cover letter. How can you make sure it will be read and will help you in your quest to land the job?