While you may have heard anecdotal evidence of employers who do not even bother reading cover letters, many still rely on them to determine whether to read through the rest of a candidate's application or not. Avoid taking a chance; unless an employer specifically instructs applicants not to send cover letters, you should include one with your resume. Because cover letters can be vital to the success of your job hunt, you should invest the effort to create a polished letter that you target to each individual employer. An obvious copy-and-paste job can turn off hiring managers, as can generic salutations. These missteps indicate the applicant did not take the time to learn about the employer or to think about what he or she wants to communicate. Start by learning the basic outlines of what goes into writing a great cover letter.
Think about what makes you such a good fit for the position and explain this in your letter. This is also a good opportunity to address any issues your resume might raise, such as extended employment gaps. As a general rule, your cover letter should focus on the ways hiring you will benefit the employer. This is not the place to talk about what you want from the job, although jobseekers aiming for a career change may want to briefly explain their situation.