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Are cover letters useless? (in the tech industry)

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  • Aug 8th, 2021 12:06 pm
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 23, 2008
6217 posts
2383 upvotes

Are cover letters useless? (in the tech industry)

Is writing cover letters in your job application useful? or a waste of time?
Specifically in the tech industry.
12 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 6, 2002
6398 posts
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Toronto
Yes, in tech, they are useless and a waste of time.
Si Tacuisses, Philosophus Mansisses
Sr. Member
Nov 28, 2016
789 posts
953 upvotes
Yap, waste of time. Haven't used a cover letter in years. I also avoid jobs where they require a cover letter. Cover letter adds nothing that a good resume doesn't.
Deal Addict
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Sep 14, 2012
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Montreal, QC
SomeOtherDude wrote: Is writing cover letters in your job application useful? or a waste of time?
Specifically in the tech industry.
I'm in the IT industry and where I work, cover letters are expected. In fact, the application process specifically asks for a cover letter and CV/resume.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
47772 posts
8483 upvotes
Richmond Hill
lmcjipo wrote: I'm in the IT industry and where I work, cover letters are expected. In fact, the application process specifically asks for a cover letter and CV/resume.
Whenever I see that field, and assuming it's not optional, I usually just upload my resume again. Hasn't stopped me from getting interviews.
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 6, 2002
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Toronto
lmcjipo wrote: I'm in the IT industry and where I work, cover letters are expected. In fact, the application process specifically asks for a cover letter and CV/resume.
As a tech worker, that would immediately make me think "dinosaur" and immediately skip.
Si Tacuisses, Philosophus Mansisses
Member
May 9, 2012
497 posts
139 upvotes
SF Bay Area
Yes, it's a waste of time.

I have literally interviewed 100s of people working at FANNG and I don't recall ever seeing a cover letter.
Deal Addict
Apr 7, 2011
2029 posts
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Hamilton
I like to use a cover letter to highlight relevant experience from earlier jobs. Resumes are reverse chronological, my cover letter is more of a functional view.

So let's say a job asks for managing people experience: in my resume a job where I managed a team of a dozen is three roles back. A recruiter isn't going to see that. But my cover letter can expose that fact much more easily.

Don't use a cover letter as a precis of the resume.
Sr. Member
Nov 28, 2016
789 posts
953 upvotes
Sum_guy wrote: I like to use a cover letter to highlight relevant experience from earlier jobs. Resumes are reverse chronological, my cover letter is more of a functional view.

So let's say a job asks for managing people experience: in my resume a job where I managed a team of a dozen is three roles back. A recruiter isn't going to see that. But my cover letter can expose that fact much more easily.

Don't use a cover letter as a precis of the resume.
The first line in my resume (objective) would say that if that is the position I am aiming for.
Member
May 29, 2017
464 posts
367 upvotes
I wouldn't say they are "useless" however some companies still require them tech industry as well. Remember you're not always going to have someone from a technical background look at your application. Sometimes its some random at HR and they will want to see it. So its a good posture to have one available and use it becuase how would you know who is looking at your application?
Deal Addict
Apr 7, 2011
2029 posts
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Hamilton
devmaster8 wrote: The first line in my resume (objective) would say that if that is the position I am aiming for.
I should have explained that I'd do that for multiple items. If I added a sentence for three to four items I'd have a paragraph or more.

My cover letters are bullet points in a two column table.
Sr. Member
Aug 15, 2018
737 posts
614 upvotes
Ex HR here, I have recruited for hundreds of roles and never read a cover letter. It' not that I don't want to, it's just that we didn't have time for that. Based on a candidate's CV, if a company is interested in the profile, they will call to find out more (motivations to move, expected salary, length of notice period etc...).

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