A survey was published in early 2015 that states only 1/3 of recruiters read a cover letter. Many candidates in the Gen-X / Gen-Y era were taught that a cover letter was mandatory. Today, if 66% of recruiters will ignore a cover letter, is it worth sending one with your application?
As a job seeker, you want the best chance possible to impress whoever reviews your application, so include a cover letter just in case. Maybe the person reviewing your application is one of the 1/3 of recruiters who expect a cover letter. Worst case scenario, you’ve written a cover letter that doesn’t get read, but why risk a 33% chance of disappointing whoever is screening your application?
Until that ratio drops below a 1-in-10 chance, I’ll recommend that all candidates take time to write a 3-paragraph cover letter to help them stand out.