something your cover letter does not need to do

I’ve seen a few people lately advising others that a cover letter needs to address every single one of the qualifications listed in the job ad.

This is not true, and it will usually make for a crowded, less effective cover letter.

You do want to be sure that the qualifications described in the job posting are all covered between your cover letter and resume combined, but your cover letter shouldn’t be a laundry list of qualifications, especially since most of those are probably already on your resume.

Let us all repeat it like a mantra: Your cover letter shouldn’t repeat what’s on your resume. It should add something new to your application, something your resume doesn’t already contain. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise!

(Obviously, if a particular job’s application instructions directly tell you that you need to address every qualification in your cover letter, then you need to do that. And I wonder if this advice started when people saw some ads saying that, and extrapolated it to cover letters in general.)

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