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Old 10-22-2007, 07:01 PM
 
96 posts, read 386,747 times
Reputation: 53

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What do they mean? Anything?

This whole "online" thing...I think cover letters are a waste of time. Everything is in the summary of my resume. My resume should speak for itself. I am sick and tired and filling out all of these online pages of information and then submitting a cover letter. Can't companies just look at my res and see my intent?
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:06 PM
 
Location: City of the damned, Wash
428 posts, read 2,364,100 times
Reputation: 260
No. What if you want to explain one of your answers in the app? The app only asks for certain information, and if you want to personalize yourself, the res is not the way to do that either.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:58 PM
 
Location: SE Florida
9,368 posts, read 24,164,554 times
Reputation: 9429
A strong cover letter is what gets them to read your resume. You tell them what you want them to see in your resume. It shows them that you can compose a sentence. And it gets your personality across without your being there. The resume may contain all the ingredients, but the cover letter is the picture of the pie!
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,697 posts, read 3,328,609 times
Reputation: 1547
Quote:
Originally Posted by HIF View Post
A strong cover letter is what gets them to read your resume. You tell them what you want them to see in your resume. It shows them that you can compose a sentence. And it gets your personality across without your being there. The resume may contain all the ingredients, but the cover letter is the picture of the pie!
The cover letter gets them to want to read your resume, which in turn leads them to want to interview you, and so on... A well-written cover letter that is specifically tailored the the company's needs can work wonders.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,189 posts, read 30,052,712 times
Reputation: 7315
Not to be the voice of discord here, but I have worked closely with several hiring managers over the years. Cover letters were not read by 3 out of 4. They were pulled off at the fax machine & thrown away or pulled off the printer & thrown away.

The one manager that actually had the time to read them ASKED in the ad to have a cover letter submitted that included salary requirement. Sadly, many hiring managers don't even have time to look at resumes. That is how I ended up with them. I would check for signs of stable work history, experience in the position, and attention to detail.

I know all of the "experts" recommend a cover, but mostly they don't get read. Oh, also don't call to see if your resume was received, don't expect a call or letter after an interview unless they are offering you a job. Hiring managers simply do not have the time.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:00 AM
 
Location: SE Florida
9,368 posts, read 24,164,554 times
Reputation: 9429
I don't think you can generalize. It is so subjective, a toss of the dice. Is the person reviewing them having a bad day? On deadline for another project? Do they see a long work history with a company on the resume as a "stable employee" or do they see someone who "doesn't like change".

I've gotten two jobs where I was told when they offered me the position that my cover letter caught their attention. In one case I was one of 88 applicants. One position preferred a degree, which I don't have....and the other required a degree...but they changed the position description to hire me.

I also try not to fax my application, but get the address and name of hiring person (reverse 411, then go to their website for the address and contact info) and then send it priority mail.

It probably depends on the position, too. Maybe a tech-type position would be more resume driven, while one that requires more right-brained skills would be more cover letter driven.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Zebulon, NC
2,275 posts, read 6,033,040 times
Reputation: 3617
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBnC View Post
What do they mean? Anything?

This whole "online" thing...I think cover letters are a waste of time. Everything is in the summary of my resume. My resume should speak for itself. I am sick and tired and filling out all of these online pages of information and then submitting a cover letter. Can't companies just look at my res and see my intent?
Some hiring managers prefer them, some don't. I used to be a recruiter, and I preferred cover letters that directly related to the open position. Also, our company frequently had more than one position open, and I wanted to know which position the applicant was interested in.

Frankly, what you've written in your original post is an attitude that would be a HUGE turnoff to me as a hiring manager. There is usually a lot of competition for good jobs, and the hiring manager wants someone who is willing to do what it takes to get the job done. What you wrote relays a sense of entitlement that I would find off-putting. If you really want the job, why wouldn't you do everything you could to make yourself stand out?

Another point - there are resume writing services out there that will create a stellar resume for a price. That's all fine and dandy, but a cover letter that pertains to a particular position conveys actual written communication skills, and gives an insight to the applicant that a resume doesn't.

Last but not least, I'll give you an example from personal experience. When I came across the advertisement for my current job, the task of "carrying rocks" was inserted in the list of job responsibilities. They also said that salary was commensurate with ability to carry rocks. The ad was for a bookkeeper/office manager, so the line was obviously a joke.

In my cover letter, I mentioned that I sometimes have to carry my dog, and she can be as dumb as a box of rocks. Therefore, I have experience carrying rocks.

My boss has mentioned my cover letter on several occasions to different people. He has always stated that the joke about carrying rocks was intentional; he wanted to see how closely applicants were paying attention. He only interviewed people who mentioned the rocks.

I've now been there three years. If I had not sent a cover letter, I would have missed out on the best job I've ever had.
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