Here are some scenarios when you should consider using a cover letter:
When it’s requested: Some job applications explicitly ask for a cover letter along with the resume. In such cases, not including a cover letter might be seen as disregarding instructions or lacking attention to detail.
To highlight specific experiences or skills: If you have experiences or skills that are directly relevant to the job but might not be detailed in your resume, a cover letter gives you the space to explain these in more depth.
To show your enthusiasm: A cover letter is a chance to express your passion and enthusiasm for the role or the company. You can explain why you’re excited about the opportunity and how your values align with the company’s mission.
To explain career changes or gaps: If your resume might have gaps or you’re changing career paths, a cover letter can provide context or explanations that might not fit in the resume but are important for the hiring manager to understand.
When making a speculative application: If you’re reaching out to a company that might not have advertised a specific position but you’re interested in working for them, a cover letter can explain why you admire the company and what you could bring to the table.