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Cover letter or no cover letter?

Veteran

Lisa Ceron Richlands, NC

I recently heard that employers seldom look at the cover letter. Is that true? If so, that's very disappointing because I spend a lot of time drafting it specifically for that organization. I usually include what drew me to the organization as well as what makes me a good fit. Should I not waste my time?

23 June 2021 10 replies Resumes & Cover Letters

Answers

Advisor

Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I agree with Mark and suggest that you continue to do cover letters, there is more potential upside compared to not doing one.

25 June 2021 Helpful answer

Advisor

Amit Chaudhary San Jose, CA

why not make a unique version of resumw for each position, highlight the requirements in position posting, give more details of relevant experience and reduce non matching. And ideally do it in one page.
And get a referral ideally with a recommendation

In tech, most companies i knew did not look at cover letter.

25 June 2021 Helpful answer

Advisor

Robert Byron North Easton, MA

Hi Lisa,

A well written cover letter selling yourself to the employer, matching your qualifications with the job, and explaining why you are the ideal candidate for the role can help you stand out from the rest of the applicants. Writing a cover letter also shows the employer you are highly motivated and interested in the job.

Even though writing a cover letter can be time consuming and challenging it can be well worth it if it helps land that coveted job.

Best of luck in your job search!

Rob...

25 June 2021 Helpful answer

Veteran

Han Nguyen Oklahoma City, OK

That's tricky Lisa. Some companies have software that pinpoints keywords within a resume. This cuts time away and forces the most similar-worded resumes to the top of the pile.

A cover letter may not be in your best interest. In a world where an employer is looking at your application and you are not submitting it on some "platform", I'd write a cover letter.

If you are submitting your application through a system, do not waste your time on one.

24 June 2021 Helpful answer

Advisor

Mark Young Salem, NH

Lisa,
Always do a cover let and e-mail it to the hiring manger if you can. Sometimes the system will accept it and then not forward to the hiring manger.

I hope this helps.

Regards

24 June 2021 Helpful answer

Advisor

Steve Prew Littleton, CO

Hey Lisa, although I DO believe employers, especially hiring managers will rarely (if ever) look at a cover letter, I feel like it is an "activity" process. In other words, they will require a cover letter just to see if the applicant is interested enough in the role to take the extra time to draft a cover letter. I have a "canned" version, tweaking small parts of it to match the opportunity. Let me know if you need any additional assistance. Thanks.

Steve Prew

Advisor

Anthony Viveros Bayonne, NJ

I think depends on industry, for financial services most place will not require cover letter. I think your time is better spend personalizing your CV/Resume for a specific role rather than a cover letter. Don't user generic resumes for every role.

Use the bullets points in the job description to personalize your resume

Veteran

Tom D Dayton, OH

Lisa,

It depends on the industry you're going into.

I recently did a major career shift into software development and found my cover letters on the desks of hiring managers during interviews. They went over the letters as talking points sometimes, which really surprised me. Now I'll tell you why it surprised me...

Before I did the major career shift, previous employers I worked for didn't care at all for cover letters (e.g., maintenance in manufacturing, retail sales lead jobs, federal contractor positions, and even a position as a federal employee). All I had to do was either send in a resume or apply via a website. Once hired, I was told that they didn't care to look at cover letters.

Sending in a cover letter won't hurt you. I was hesitant to send in cover letters when I did this career shift but I sent them on the advice of a career coach who helped me out and I'm glad I did. One note, be personal and genuine in your cover letter. Try not to make it sound like it was just tailored to the job description.

Hope that helped you out!

FWFS, Shipmate! (from a fellow Chief)
Tom

Veteran

Lisa Ceron Richlands, NC

Thank you for the responses. I tailor my resume to the PD, without telling any falsities. I tailor the cover sheet to the organization's mission, vision, and or values that drew me to apply there.

Veteran

Lisa Ceron Richlands, NC

Thank you Mark!!

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