In today's IT world, employers are inundated with responses to job postings, sometimes getting hundreds of resumes for a single job listing. Hiring managers and HR pros need to do what they can to whittle down the pile. For this reason, you've got to use every tool at your disposal to tell your story. The cover letter is a valuable tool in your arsenal that can help do just that.

"By creating highly personalized and detailed cover letters, you will distinguish yourself from the crowd of other applicants who are sending the standard, boring cover letters that employers receive--and discard--every day," says Ford Myers, author of " Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring."

Is it Always Necessary to Send a Cover Letter?

"There are employers who religiously read every cover letter," says Doug Schade, principal consultant in the software technology search division at WinterWyman. While it may not be necessary, according to Schade, you definitely should if you have the opportunity.

"My advice is to always include a short cover letter as you won't know the employer's propensities ahead of time and you may miss out on an opportunity to sell yourself. Every chance to tell your story is something you should take advantage of," says Schade.

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