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Can you actually make a difference (in a positive way) with your cover letter?

Anonymous A asked on Nov 10, 2018

I know it's an important part of the application and the only chance to present your personality. But, how are cover letters actually rated at M/B/B? Is it a standardized process and multiple people give it a score (from one to 10 let's say) or is it more like someone looks at your letter once and makes a binary decision (good enough/not good enough let's say)?

I assume it's a mix of both but I'd be curious to hear from the people who know exactly how the process works in reality.

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Alessandro
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replied on Nov 10, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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I can tell you that at Bain, cover letter is looked at briefly and basically given a binary score (1 or 0) which accounts for <10% of your overall application score. At McKinsey London, Cover Letters aren't even read at all (and don't have to be submitted).

Vlad replied on Nov 12, 2018
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Hi,

The short answer is no. You just need to have a standard good looking cover letter, but it can not make a change if you have a poor resume.

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Guennael replied on Nov 11, 2018
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We've discussed this a lot recently here - the general consensus is that letters aren't even read sometimes, and at best would have a very limited influence BUT you still should do them even if 'optional'