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Job portals and specialists often recommend to write cover letters, to explain why I am suitable for job.

However, I mentioned that during phone calls, and during job interviews they never mentioned details from cover letter (from CV yes). When I called to HR of a company, I suspect that my CV was rejected just because I did not have right experience in CV (even I explained in cover letter why I could be suitable person, but probably it was not read).

  • Did that company requested a Cover Letter during their application process? – DarkCygnus Aug 19 at 23:11
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    Maybe they didn't believe your explaination. All important information should be in your CV. – Gregory Currie Aug 19 at 23:13
  • I'd write a cover letter only when there is actually something to explain. For example, when I decide to leave a job only half year after I started. I do feel like I should explain it in the cover letter. – Allen Zhang Aug 19 at 23:46
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Has it sense to write cover letters?

Yes, but as I see it, CV's are more relevant for the application process compared to Cover Letters. Both are important, but CV's are more.

In my experience, there are cases where Cover Letters are not required nor asked (some even don't have a place where to put your cover letter), but CV's are always asked or required.

Thus, you should focus on including all the relevant information in your CV that you feel will help you land the job. Don't rely on having it only on your Cover Letter as in some cases (like perhaps in your case), CV's are given more importance.

Furthermore, it's wise to make sure that the company you are applying for asks or not for a Cover Letter. Chances are they don't need/ask for one, so it would be irrelevant (and a waste of your time and effort) for that application to submit one.

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Does it make sense to write cover letters ?

Yes, but ONLY if it's the right cover letter. There is an astonishing amount of confusion of what a resume and a cover letter is for.

Resume: This is describes you and your professional history. Your experiences, skills, achievements typically by going through your education and work history in chronological order. That's who you are. It's the same for all jobs you apply for since you are still the same person

Cover Letter: connects your resume to the job description. Why is this a good job for you and why are you good for the job? A good format for a cover letter is to go through the requirements in the job description one by one and match them against line items in your resume. A cover letter is individually tailored to each specific job since every job description is different. A good cover letter shows that you have done your homework, researched the company and role and that you have a well informed opinion on the job.

A good cover letter can give you a big advantage. In many companies, applications are first scanned by a recruiting staffer who often has little understanding of what the job is actually about. Their job is to match requirements against the candidate, which is difficult. If the cover letter already does they work for them, you have a much higher chance of getting through the first phase gate.

A bad cover letter however can be a problem. Something that's cookie cutter and not specific to the company can be interpreted as you being lazy and not doing your homework or just doing a random blast of applications with no special interest in this role.

  • This is a great answer. I vet resumes for my group and I read cover letters to see if the candidate did any research into the company (i.e., read the web page) and has a brain in their head. A good cover letter will never be mentioned during an interview. A bad cover letter won't get you the interview to begin with. – Matthew Aug 20 at 12:58
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If it's a job that stands out to you, it's worth doing. When I went through my first job application process after I finished university I wrote one cover letter for a job that felt perfect. I didn't with any of the others.

I ended up getting an interview at that place, and they even mentioned the cover letter in the interview saying that there aren't many people who do that these days. It made me stand out enough to get an interview! Whilst it might be wasteful to write one for every job application, recruiters do pass it along to the employees!

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I don't think you really have enough evidence here to say that they didn't read them or that they never do. Assuming you're referring to the application you talk about in your other question it may be that they would have read the cover letter and used it as some form of tie-breaker in the event of trying to decide between two candidates who looked equal on CVs alone but that your lack of qualifications/experience (as per your CV) was simply a straight deal-breaker for them.

Personally (and I don't pretend to speak for all hiring managers) I only read cover letters if the CV passes an initial scan but have found on more than one occasion a good cover letter has elevated an "okay" candidate into a "must interview" one. I know others prefer to do it the other way around and won't even bother looking at the CV of a candidate whose cover letter is poor.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that while a good cover letter isn't always going to help or make the difference it's not going to hurt you either (I've never seen someone get rejected for writing a good cover letter - and the notion's rather absurd to be honest). So do your best and write a good cover letter when applications ask for/advise one. Even if it makes no difference three out of four times that fourth time where it does can be very valuable!

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You have mentioned CV in your question rather than resume which makes it sound like you are not in a location where resumes are common such as America. There resumes are generally advised to be limited in size, to one or two pages and are very succinct and to the point so the cover letter is an opportunity to give more information and to supplement the resume. You need to look at the advice you are given to see if it is country specific as ways of recruitment differs greatly between countries.

In the UK for example where I am based CVs are often more substantial and I have seen CVs that are greater than 2 pages (whether that is sensible is a different question) and so a cover letter is less important

However, what impact does writing one have on your application? At best it may be the difference between two candidates and help you get an interview. At worst, it isn't read. (I assume you are not going to write a bad cover letter). So it doesn't seem really so bad to do one and it allows you to be more specific about the job you are after and why you believe you are a good candidate for the company and the role

Also as others have mentioned, you have made the general assumption that they aren't read. This may be true in some cases, but I can assure you in many companies they are read

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