So what is the final verdict on cover letters when applying for jobs. Are we really looking at them? Would love to hear from sourcers, recruiters and hiring managers.

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For me, I always open the resume first to see their background to see if it’s a fit. If they are I’ll read the cover letter because they took the time to write it but if there’s no cover letter that doesn’t matter to me at all.

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I always make it a point to read a Cover Letter, but my core focus is always the candidate’s resume.

A cover letter that’s supplementing a shoddy resume/lack of fitment doesn’t help.
Lack of cover letter for a candidate who’s a seamless fit for the role doesn’t bother me as well.

It’s a good to have, and might play a minuscule role in differentiating your profile during the screening phase.

Personally, I don’t write cover letters when I’m applying for jobs. I’m either a fit for the role, or I’m not.

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I know I am in the minority but I love when a candidate takes the time to write a cover letter and show that extra interest
There have been times when I have read a resume and been underwhelmed but they wrote such a strong cover letter i knew I had to speak with them and more times than not they ended up being great candidates for the roles and I might have not spoken to them if not for the cover letter

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I scan the resume to make sure the skills align with the need, but I read the cover letter in full to get a sense of the person and if they would fit in with the company.

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Thank you! Do you dismiss candidates if they didnt attach a cover letter?

I see the value in a cover letter because it can tell me why you’re looking to make a move or why you have shorter stints on your resume. Anything that can help me sell your background to the hiring manager, the better.

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I don't read cover letters...it's a "nice to have" not a requirement.

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The majority of recruiters don’t read them

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I think a cover letter can be important in certain situations. Have a job that requires the person to be excellent at communication and presenting themselves and their ideas well? A cover letter can give you a sense of that. Also, if the cover letter is clearly just a form letter, and the person hasn't changed the company name or job information (which I've encountered more than once) it's an easy pass. They can be useful, but not necessary every time.

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I can echo the popular response, if a candidate meets the basic requires based on their LinkedIn or resume then I'll read the cover letter, if not, attachments like cover letters generally go unopened.

I generally think a generic cover letter can sometimes do more harm than good; so if you take the time to send one make sure you spend 3-5 minutes customizing it for the specific company/job you are applying.

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