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Do you send a cover letter with your resume?

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  • May 29th, 2016 10:49 am
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[OP]
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Aug 22, 2014
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Toronto, ON

Do you send a cover letter with your resume?

How important are cover letters when applying online?

Do hiring managers really spend time reading a resume AND a cover letter?

Is it worth spending time personalizing each letter to every application or do you just send a generic cover letter with a few searchable keywords?
33 replies
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Jun 8, 2008
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sn00ch wrote: How important are cover letters when applying online?

Do hiring managers really spend time reading a resume AND a cover letter?

Is it worth spending time personalizing each letter to every application or do you just send a generic cover letter with a few searchable keywords?

Very, yes, absolutely yes.
Penalty Box
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Jul 11, 2008
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Away from RFD idiots
yes, write something.

just don't be like 'resume attached'.
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Feb 27, 2013
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yes, given they probably receive 100 applicants you would want to stand out.
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Oct 16, 2013
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New Brunswick
Send a cover letter but don't waste time customizing it. They send less about 8 seconds reading. According to Workpolist 1 out of 5 read cover letter.
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Oct 21, 2006
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Every resume.

Also, customize to reflect what they're looking for in the job ad. After applying to 15-20 jobs you should have a fairly decent collection of letters to cut/paste from to build "customized" letters for any future needs, just remember to scrub any information about previous applications from the cover letter. Don't accidentally include a business name from a previous cover letter, etc. Write the cover letter on one day, then wait a pair of days before reviewing it yourself. Have someone else read the finished product in detail, to make sure you didn't make mistakes. Then send the combined cover letter/resume in.
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Dec 11, 2013
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raichu1 wrote: Send a cover letter but don't waste time customizing it. They send less about 8 seconds reading. According to Workpolist 1 out of 5 read cover letter.
This is very much the wrong attitude. You want to do everything you can to stand out if they do read it.
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Oct 16, 2013
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JFlash20 wrote: This is very much the wrong attitude. You want to do everything you can to stand out if they do read it.
I did the custom and it got me nowhere. It depends on what works for you.
Sr. Member
Jan 31, 2016
744 posts
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Kawartha Lakes
Make sure it is custom for each company, make sure you included how you match the key qualifications very quickly and try and show some personality. When I say persoanlity I don't mean - LOL, hahhahaha, meh, Yo, Dude, i, or yup.

Coverletter is the window to your resume. If they like what they see in about 5 seconds they will investigate you more.
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Jan 2, 2015
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Absolutely every resume, and i customize it.

When hiring, I look for the key highlights, or if there is anything that jumps out at me from the cover. I usually star with the resume part to look for key skills, if they have them, then I quickly read over the cover letter to see how well they have summarized and if they picked out key points.

True not all covers are read, but on times that I wanted to see more and it wasn't there, I put them in the discard pile. When there are hundreds of applications, any little thing can be used against you. It definitely will not hurt to have one, unless it's sloppy or poorly written.
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Nov 8, 2013
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Mecca
Very important, you likely have no chance without one.
Newbie
Jan 19, 2016
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Toronto, ON
raichu1 wrote: Send a cover letter but don't waste time customizing it. They send less about 8 seconds reading. According to Workpolist 1 out of 5 read cover letter.
If you're unemployed, your time isn't likely all that valuable so you might as well use it to customize the letter.
Deal Addict
Feb 18, 2016
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As a follow up to the OP's question, say the CV is sent as an attachment to an email. Is the cover letter essentially the email, or is it a separate attachment?
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Mecca
notfromqc wrote: As a follow up to the OP's question, say the CV is sent as an attachment to an email. Is the cover letter essentially the email, or is it a separate attachment?
Good question, I sometimes attach the cover letter as well.
Member
Dec 11, 2013
490 posts
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Toronto
JFlash20 wrote: This is very much the wrong attitude. You want to do everything you can to stand out if they do read it.
So you got a really good job by just sending out form covers?
[OP]
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Aug 22, 2014
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billybishop wrote: If you're unemployed, your time isn't likely all that valuable so you might as well use it to customize the letter.
What if you're already employed? Is it still worth the extra effort to customize?

I've seen people land decent jobs with just a generic cover letter or no cover letter at all. Some don't even bother setting up an account with the company's career site. Unless there's an "Easily apply" button it's not worth their time. Somehow they manage to get hired...maybe it's just luck?
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Oct 16, 2013
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New Brunswick
billybishop wrote: If you're unemployed, your time isn't likely all that valuable so you might as well use it to customize the letter.
Your time is important if unemployed. Spending 2-3 hours to do a custom cover for a job means less time applying to position/ networking/ going to events/ upgrading skills. If you are applying to VP position than do a custom.
Sr. Member
Dec 16, 2014
893 posts
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Easter Island
depends, if posting specifically asks for cover letter. Otherwise I typically don't bother. About 90% responses ive received for interviews did not involve a cover letter.
Member
Sep 14, 2012
340 posts
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karakoram wrote: depends, if posting specifically asks for cover letter. Otherwise I typically don't bother. About 90% responses ive received for interviews did not involve a cover letter.
Can I ask which profession/industry you work in? That may be a factor.

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