Ask 100 hiring managers if they read cover letters that accompany résum é s and you may get 101 different answers, such as these in a discussion at The Electronic Recruiting Exchange:
- "Rarely (but it does happen) is the cover letter even read."
- "Some employers who see a résumé without a cover letter are completely baffled. Their reaction is, "What am I supposed to do with this?"
- "I believe that cover letters are not a total thing of the past, however, increasingly they have become the dinosaur of the job seeking process."
- "I guess it is a matter of personal preference, but I love cover letters."
- "A well written cover letter makes me want to read the résumé."
Many job seekers use the cover letter like a piece of lettuce slapped on top of a sandwich:
I saw your ad in the XXX daily classifieds and would like to be considered for the position of YYY. I look forward to hearing from you. Blah blah blah.
Huh? What's in that for the employer? I have even seen cover letters that name the company they want to work for -but it isn't the name of the company they sent the cover letter to! What are the odds that they will be considered for a job? Slim to none, I'm sure!
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