I have covered this topic quite a bit here, but I am still asked this question on a regular basis. The answer is yes – a cover letter is important. In fact, in this job market, I would argue that a cover letter is more important than ever. Think about it; the cover letter provides you with more opportunity to market yourself. With so much competition, why wouldn't you seize every opportunity to further engage readers and establish your qualifications / expertise?
A couple of quick tips:
First off, always submit a cover letter with your resume unless a company/organization specifically asks for only a resume. An ideal cover letter can take many forms to be sure, but its main goal should be to motivate the reader to take a close look at your resume.
Moreover, I typically like to see a cover letter that gives the reader a bit more information – some “context” that will help them to make further sense of the resume. Oftentimes, a cover letter becomes more important once the list of job candidates has been whittled down. That’s when the “extras” that a cover letter provides can make all of the difference.
Get in touch if you need help.