Why do I need a cover letter?

When applying for jobs and internships, students and recent graduates frequently ask the question “Why do I need a cover letter?” A cover letter is one of the most important parts of any application, and can help you stand out. A well written cover letter expands upon your CV, and is specific to the position and company. Before you begin hunting for a job or internship, make sure you learn how to write a top notch cover letter.

Stand Out

Regardless of the position you’re applying for, many applicants likely won’t submit a cover letter. Don’t follow the crowd by asking “Why do I need a cover letter?” By simply including it along with your CV, you’re ensuring that your application is above those that submitted the bare minimum. Additionally, most job postings request a cover letter or personal statement, and not submitting one shows an employer that you don’t read carefully. Submitting a cover letter shows that you take the job and the employer seriously.


Why do I need a cover letter?

Showcase Your Skills

A cover letter is also an excellent way to showcase professional communication skills. Regardless of your field, writing skills are essential. You need to be able to express yourself in written form to move up in a company. For potential employers, a cover letter is an excellent tool for deciding which candidates to interview.

A cover letter can show preparation, even if you’re looking for your first professional experience, whereas an empty CV probably doesn’t. As a student or recent graduate, you need to take every opportunity to sell yourself. If you do have previous experience, a cover letter is the perfect way to showcase all of your accomplishments.


Why do I need a cover letter?

Take Control of Your Application

A cover letter allows you to give more details to your potential employer. Your CV likely includes all of the statistical information about your experience. However, a cover letter adds a personal touch. In a competitive job market, it is likely that many candidates are strong. If you want to stand out, you need to tell the employer what makes you unique.

A cover letter supports you in a way that a CV can’t.  If you don’t meet all of the requirements for a job, you can use the letter to explain what skills you have that make up for it. Use your cover letter to take control of the next steps. Identify your availability for interviews, when you can start the position, and when you’ll follow up.


Now that you’re no longer asking, “Why do I need a cover letter?”, jumpstart your career and apply now for an international internship!






1. based on City, by Brian Evans, CC BY-ND 2.0

2. based on Frustrated Man on Computer, by Perzon SEO, CC BY-ND 2.0

3. based on Young Man On A Job Interview, by Amtec Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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Maeve Allsup

Originally from Colorado, Maeve currently lives in Santiago Chile, where she writes about travel and professional development for The Intern Group. She studied International Relations and Communications at American University and loves travel, hiking and all things outdoors.
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