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Do you need to write a cover letter to apply for a job? In most cases, the answer is yes. Your cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview or having your resume ignored, so it makes good sense to devote the necessary time and effort to writing effective cover letters.

Before you submit your next job application, it's crucial to line up your professional references in case a prospective employer asks for them. But whom should you ask, and how should you go about asking?