Resume Cover Letters – Waste of Time?

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Are cover letters worth your time adding to a resume?


When submitting a resume online, the answer is NO. Almost always no. Sometimes: Yes.

Your resume will usually be parsed into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which extracts keywords and keyphrases associated with your background, training and experience. Everything an employer needs to know about you should already be in your resume.

Resumes given directly to a recruiter may find a cover letter useful — but only if you are applying to a specific position or narrow category of positions.

Keep cover letters brief. Keep them focused. An example is below.



I wish consideration for your position: JobTitle, JobNumber located at Location.

This position is listed online at … provide link back to job posting (best to find on employer’s website).

RequirementHow I Match
Clearance: Active Top Secret SCITS/SCI clearance; PR 2018; last used Apr 2020 (… or: in current use).
Education: MA degree preferred or BA with 8 years experienceBA degree with 9 years experience.
Certification: DAWIA II AcquisitionCompleted all DAWIA II coursework, but as a contractor am not officially certified.
Certification: Security+, CASPSecurity+ and CEH certified; will enroll in CASP certification training for this position.
Experience: Five (5) most recent years working within an IC HQ or major field activity.Seven (7) years working within national IC centers.
Experience: Knowledgeable of National GEOINT systems.Military background as Imagery and GEOINT specialist; have worked in GEOINT field for last nine (9) years.

Got career questions?

Bill Golden

Newsletter: Defense and Intelligence Community Jobs 


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