Nationwide Permanent & Temporary Staffing for Pathology & Histology Labs

Do You Still Need a Cover Letter in 2023?

Share this article!

Need cover letter

If you think cover letters are DOA, you’re not alone. A recent Fishbowl poll of over 13,000 professionals revealed that only 10% of respondents felt cover letters were necessary when applying for a job. A full 58% found them redundant!

So, whether you’re a pathologists’ assistant on the hunt for a new gig or a histotechnician looking for somewhere new to splice slides, there’s a good chance you can forget about writing a lengthy cover letter - in most cases.

It’s probably more accurate to say that while this formality is on life support, there are still some scenarios where some extra keyboard clatter time is called for (after you’ve polished up your resume, of course). Here’s when to take that extra step and provide a cover letter. 

You Want to Make the Right Impression

As fewer people bother with cover letters, they’ll become a way to show recruiters and hiring managers that you are interested enough to go the extra mile. As a bonus, if your cover letter does get read, it can help the reader understand why you think you’re a fit for one of the jobs they’ve posted.

You Suspect ‘Optional’ is Code for ‘Recommended’

If the jobs you’re eyeing will put you in charge of people, then it’s probably a good idea to include that ‘optional’ cover letter when you apply. Given the level of responsibility associated with the role, it’s not a leap to imagine that the hiring manager will find time to read those letters to help them make a decision.

You Want to Practice for the Interview

Think through the questions you might be asked during an interview and spend a little time working answers thoughtfully into your cover letter. It will force you to consider whether you’re really the best fit for that position ahead of time. As a bonus, you’re also likely to give more substantive responses during a potential interview since you’ve already begun to imagine yourself in the role.

Quick Tips for Cover Letters

Even though cover letters are fading from prominence, it’s good to be prepared to write one should the occasion arise. Here are some easy-to-remember tips for making yours stand out:

  • Be concise. This part shouldn’t be too hard since you probably weren’t terribly excited to attach one to your resume in the first place. Writing 250-400 words is a good guideline, especially if you can format it to fill between half a page and a full page. Remember, your letter is also a mini-audition of your communication skills. Don’t ramble - just get to the point.
  • Be enthusiastic. This is especially true if you think this position is a career move and not “just another histotech job.” Don’t be afraid to let your excitement show - just make sure it’s authentic.
  • Be careful. Make sure your letter is customized to the recruiter, hiring manager, or team lead if you know their name. Do a thorough proofread to ensure your letter is free of embarrassing typos and grammatical issues. Closely follow any instructions that appear with the listing.

Your resume still reigns supreme

Adding a cover letter to your application generally won’t hurt your prospects (unless the posting specifically says not to include one). That said, labs and PA leads aren’t hiring you for your composition skills. They care most about your certifications, degree, and experience - all things you can efficiently and effectively highlight in a thoughtfully-prepared resume.

Without a cover letter flying copilot, your resume must be as strong as possible to land an interview. Need some resume tips or inspiration to make sure yours stands out from the crowd? Download our free Resume Template to help you get started today.Free Resume Template

Return to Blog List


Job Seekers

Career Building Handbook for Pathologists' Assistants and Histotechs


Free Pathology and Histology Lab Staffing Plan