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Posted: 10/8/2012 9:59:23 AM EDT
I've been told that HR reps use the cover letter to determine if they should even bother reading a resume.  Its like a resume for my resume, WTF.  I have never used one in my 14 years of professional life.  However, I would like to get out of my hell hole of a company, and would like to know if along with updating my resume, I also need to BS a fancy cover letter too.  Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:00:24 AM EDT
I don't bother, personally. My resume speaks for itself. If my experience isn't screaming "hire me", I probably don't want to work for you anyway.
 



Maybe it's industry-specific.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:15:27 AM EDT
I have been told to write a cover letter every time and to craft you resume for every job.

Also I have been told no companies are hiring until after the election......so it sucks out here in no job land.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:16:55 AM EDT
where I work know required a cover letter, so I guess my answer is it depends.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:17:41 AM EDT
Cover letters are for the most part necessary and for the whole part stupid.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:18:44 AM EDT
Quoted:
where I work know required a cover letter, so I guess my answer is it depends.


See, and this guy apparently got hired.  Like I said, they're stupid.


No offense, guy.

Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:19:30 AM EDT
The absence of one may hurt your chances and the presence of one might help your chances. The presence of a cover letter is probably not going to hurt your chances.

So no, they're not absolutely 100% required but there are more ups than downs to including one.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:19:31 AM EDT
If you are applying for a job listing online or through a recruiter, then probably not. However, if you are applying for a job the old-fashioned way, or perhaps in business/ legal/Marketing, then probably.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:21:55 AM EDT


In my experiences, a cover letter is essential.



This is an employers market, and having an opening opportunity to articulate yourself provides an advantage and a professional touch to the mountain of resumes being considered.



It takes very little time, and again, in my experience, non-negotiable.







Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:23:42 AM EDT
I started doing them when I hit middle management. Like the poster above...it won't hurt. Unless you write like Gene.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:29:18 AM EDT
I guess I should just write one and be done with it.  Any good resources or advice on writing one?
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:30:23 AM EDT



Quoted:


I guess I should just write one and be done with it.  Any good resources or advice on writing one?


Ask gene5, then do the exact opposite of that.

 
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:35:08 AM EDT




Quoted:

I started doing them when I hit middle management. Like the poster above...it won't hurt. Unless you write like Gene.


The job being applied to does make a difference. I didn't factor that in.



Any job I would apply to would absolutely include a cover letter.



Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:36:56 AM EDT
The cover letter should help insure the right person sees the resume.



Expecting an admin to know the resume with the photography experience has applied for a video editing position is assuming devine intervention.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:37:42 AM EDT
Quoted:
I guess I should just write one and be done with it.  Any good resources or advice on writing one?


I write a unique one for each application I submit.  I'd find a template to use online or in a resume book.  Then write the body yourself for each company you send it to.  Point out what skills you posess that the company is looking for.  It makes it look like you paid attention to the job reference, or did your homework on what they are looking for.  It doesn't have to be very long either.  Introduce yourself.  Tell them how you heard of them.  Then them what you're looking for in a job, and tell them what you have to offer.

The purpose of a cover letter and a resume is to get you noticed, and get you an interview.  This is an oppourtunity to sell yourself.

Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:37:59 AM EDT
Here's what I've gotten a kick out of is the ever changing requirements of cover letters and resumes.  It's akin to fashion.  If you didn't get the memo, you're fucked.  What worked last year, is now a hiring no-no.



Is there some secrete resume society that changes things every other month?
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:40:25 AM EDT
I have done hiring before.

If a resume comes in without a cover letter I tend to not take a serious look at that resume.

(AKA if you don't care enough to write one you are not serious about the job).


.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:41:46 AM EDT
Quoted:
Here's what I've gotten a kick out of is the ever changing requirements of cover letters and resumes.  It's akin to fashion.  If you didn't get the memo, you're fucked.  What worked last year, is now a hiring no-no.

Is there some secrete resume society that changes things every other month?


I'm convinced it's just another Human Resources and Recruiting con. They are constantly making shit up to stay relevant and employed.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:43:29 AM EDT



Quoted:


I have done hiring before.



If a resume comes in without a cover letter I tend to not take a serious look at that resume.



(AKA if you don't care enough to write one you are not serious about the job).





.



I see people like you as handy filters, doing me a huge favor.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:43:55 AM EDT
This is incorrect, as I have been conducting interviews this am and have several more this week.
No cover letter and I chuck your resume - if you're too lazy to put one together, I don't want you working for me.

Quoted:
I have been told to write a cover letter every time and to craft you resume for every job.

Also I have been told no companies are hiring until after the election......so it sucks out here in no job land.


Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:44:07 AM EDT
Quoted:

Quoted:
I have done hiring before.

If a resume comes in without a cover letter I tend to not take a serious look at that resume.

(AKA if you don't care enough to write one you are not serious about the job).


.

I see people like you as handy filters, doing me a huge favor.


Don't forget your TPS reports.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:47:00 AM EDT
Quoted:
Here's what I've gotten a kick out of is the ever changing requirements of cover letters and resumes.  It's akin to fashion.  If you didn't get the memo, you're fucked.  What worked last year, is now a hiring no-no.

Is there some secrete resume society that changes things every other month?


I think HR departments move the goal posts like that whenever they start getting large numbers of resumes that all look the same.

Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:49:30 AM EDT
It can't hurt to include one.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:53:07 AM EDT
If some guy in a suit says you should then you toe the company line and follow corporate America !!!
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 10:59:24 AM EDT
I'm generally happy with a correctly filled out application with decent spelling.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:27:01 AM EDT
A cover letter relates the specifics of your experience and capabilities to the specifics of the job opening and the company's business goals.

Nothing about ANYBODY'S resume screams "hire me". A resume simply says "here I am", to which the hiring authority replies, "Yes. And...?"

You are competing against potentially a thousand other applicants for every job opening. The cover letter is your opportunity to make the convincing argument that YOU are the right choice.

I got my last job (my current job) with ONLY a cover letter.

I used to do seminars for college graduates on how to write a resume. I have a hilarious collection of bad examples.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:28:09 AM EDT
Thinking about it, I've never once written a cover letter or submitted a resume.  Hell, I've never even had a job interview, per se.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:33:48 AM EDT
Hiring managers actually read resumes?  When I've hired I skimmed resumes at best, and paid the most attention to the cover letter.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:36:21 AM EDT





Quoted:



Thinking about it, I've never once written a cover letter or submitted a resume.  Hell, I've never even had a job interview, per se.



I got this job, because a recruiter was searching Linkedin. I was a 6-month contract to hire (never even talked to HR, except to sign shit).

 






One interview at a Caribou Coffee, and I was hired a few minutes later.

 
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:37:37 AM EDT
What takes more effort:
1, writing a one page cover letter
or
2, filling out next week's unemployment papaerwork

Your choice.  If your choice is #1, don't forget the spell and grammer check.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:39:33 AM EDT
Cover letters are old fashioned now.

They will skim your resume right off the bat and put you in a go or no go pile.

The go pile gets you an interview, the no go gets shredded. In construction though unless you are looking for management or a high up job with a big operation its basically "Yes I can do that, I'll be here first thing tomorrow" and if you suck they fire you the first day.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:43:29 AM EDT



Quoted:





Quoted:

Thinking about it, I've never once written a cover letter or submitted a resume.  Hell, I've never even had a job interview, per se.


I got this job, because a recruiter was searching Linkedin. I was a 6-month contract to hire (never even talked to HR, except to sign shit).    



One interview at a Caribou Coffee, and I was hired a few minutes later.
 
My first forestry job consisted of me calling the company (a two man operation at the time) to see if they had the need for extra work.  They said that they did and that they would talk to me while on the job.  So I worked with them through a 12 hour day of timber cruising and they told me to come back the next day.  3 months later and I was hired permanently.  7 years later I called up a local sawmill that I knew and told them that I wanted out and that I would go work for them for $x and they said hired.



Now as the owner of my own business I go through "job interviews" every week as I try to get new clients.




I could never handle corporate America.  The shit that my wife puts up with is unbelievable.  I would probably be fired within a day for un PC language (she can't even use the terms "arrested" or "deported".
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:44:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:45:57 AM EDT
I dont understand the cover letter either. Whats the point of doing one and a resume and then filling out an application that asks the same stuff?? Its like filling out an application in triplicate.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:48:04 AM EDT



Quoted:


I dont understand the cover letter either. Whats the point of doing one and a resume and then filling out an application that asks the same stuff?? Its like filling out an application in triplicate.


In every job I've had in the last...10 years or so, the application was a formality. I filled it out after the handshake and "You're hired" line. Name, SSN, DOB, Address...stuff like that.

 
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:52:41 AM EDT
I would say it depends on tne type of impression you are trying to leave them with... Not really sure that there is a down side to having one accompany your resume though...
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:53:17 AM EDT
Quoted:
I'm generally happy with a correctly filled out application with decent spelling.


Is crayon ok?
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 11:57:12 AM EDT



Quoted:



Quoted:

I'm generally happy with a correctly filled out application with decent spelling.
Is crayon ok?
Gel pen is better.  Remember to spray it with perfume.



 
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:01:14 PM EDT
Always do the minimum possible to get by.  That way your potential employer knows what to expect.
 
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:06:22 PM EDT




Quoted:

I would say it depends on tne type of impression you are trying to leave them with... Not really sure that there is a down side to having one accompany your resume though...




There isn't a down side....which is kind of the point.



At worst, a cover letter wont make a difference, at best, it'll get more attention than it would have otherwise.



In any competitive arena, any advantage you can give yourself is a good idea. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:08:36 PM EDT
Every single HR rep has something they look for, and something that's an instant disqualifier.  I just used my resume and skipped the fluffy BS.  Worked well.

But I'm in a no frills industry.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:08:37 PM EDT





Quoted:
Quoted:


I would say it depends on tne type of impression you are trying to leave them with... Not really sure that there is a down side to having one accompany your resume though...






There isn't a down side....which is kind of the point.





At worst, a cover letter wont make a difference, at best, it'll get more attention than it would have otherwise.





In any competitive arena, any advantage you can give yourself is a good idea. Sounds simple, doesn't it?



I look at it differently. If I'm glossed over for something as dumb as a cover letter (and I'm sure this has happened), they're doing me a favor. Their actions are symptoms of a deeper problem, that I probably wouldn't realize until I had worked for them for a few months.


 
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:11:51 PM EDT
If you don't think there is a downside to writing a cover letter, let me proofread yours.

I'll leave the downside all over the paper in red ink. Fuck up your spelling and grammar on the cover letter and I won't even get to your resume.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:12:41 PM EDT



Quoted:


If you don't think there is a downside to writing a cover letter, let me proofread yours.



I'll leave the downside all over the paper in red ink. Fuck up your spelling and grammar on the cover letter and I won't even get to your resume.


And then there's this.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:13:49 PM EDT
Quoted:
Cover letters are for the most part necessary and for the whole part stupid.


this

I never use them for anything except to boot a candidate because the letter sucks ass
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:15:57 PM EDT
If you're trying to get a job, I can't see how it'd ever hurt, unless you write a crappy cover letter....

And if you lack the language skills to write a decent cover letter, you need to Darwin yourself anyway....
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:17:48 PM EDT


Why not take advantage of every available opportunity to engage your target audience and sell them your product by demonstrating how it works?  



It's a no brainer.  If you don't think cover letters are important, you are either a caveman or in complete denial.  Or a caveman in denial.  


 
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:18:36 PM EDT
I think people saying they're mandatory or optional, need to state their industry. It probably matters.



<–– IT (Cisco voice, specifically). Superfluous.
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:22:10 PM EDT
Quoted:
Here's what I've gotten a kick out of is the ever changing requirements of cover letters and resumes.  It's akin to fashion.  If you didn't get the memo, you're fucked.  What worked last year, is now a hiring no-no.

Is there some secrete resume society that changes things every other month?


My wife is finishing up a six week class on the modern job seeker or something to that effect. The first couple of weeks I thought it was some sort of scam with them telling her that her resume was so six months ago and a bunch of other details. Turns out you are right, it seems as though there is some sort of state of the art rules that keep coming out every few months. Seems petty if you ask me.

Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:22:47 PM EDT
Depends on the job.  Blue collar job, may not need the cover letter.  Management job, absolutely necessary.

And, if a blue collar guy sends in a cover letter, he immediately goes ahead of those who don't.  Even someone who may have a slightly better resume will get edged by the cover letter.

Plus, if you don't know the difference between there/they're/their, I won't hire you no matter how qualified you are.

TC
Link Posted: 10/8/2012 12:26:45 PM EDT
Quoted:
If you don't think there is a downside to writing a cover letter, let me proofread yours.

I'll leave the downside all over the paper in red ink. Fuck up your spelling and grammar on the cover letter and I won't even get to your resume.


And that's why someone else always reads my cover letters before I send them in (usually in the career services dept. of my alma mater). I've found them to be quite helpful of late, which is a tremendous change from past experience.
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