Importance of a cover letter

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New answer on Apr 30, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 24, 2019

I know cover letter is usually important in a job application. But how important is it after a referral? I received a referral link from a 1st year consultant who said don't bother writing a cover letter. I just want to be sure that's the case.


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It's not important but I would suggest to write it anyway (without spending too much time) because its absence can be seen as lack of motivation.

Good luck with your interviews!

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To be honest, it is not important, esp if you have a referral already.

From my personal experience in screening resume for recruiting, I look at resume first, and then cover letter just as a supplement. I'd say 70% of the time the screening decision is made by looking at the resume, only 30% of time (or even less) cover letter would change my mind.



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you don't need a CL normally if you got a referral (if someone in the firm has directly forwarded your CV to the recruiting)

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Every year, big 3 consulting firms McKinsey, BCG, and Bain (MBB) receive a million applications and reject more than 80% of them even before interviews. CV and cover letters are your only chance to impress recruiters.

In such tight games with competitors from HBS, Wharton, Sloan, etc., you must be exceptional in every way possible, even to the smallest details. The resume is important, but Cover Letter is another weapon you absolutely need to utilize.

I recommend that you can get your free management consulting cover letter template here that actually works at MConsultingPrep!

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I confirm it's not important, especially if you have a referral. The only HR are going to read it.


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Anonymous A on Dec 24, 2019
Thanks Antonello. Can you confirm if that's the case even when the referral is from 1st year consultant?


It's not that important even for a regular application. However, you should have it

In case of a referral you will still have to upload your CL, but at the later stages of the process. So you should have it, but nobody will really read it


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The CL is not important, totally agree with the person who is making you the referral.

In your case, with the referral on top, is even less relevant -even if the person has little tenure-.

Hope it helps! Cheers,


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I can confirm that in case of referral the cover letter is not relevant. I have personally refferred a friend in McKinsey and the Cover Letter was not required by the HR

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Luca gave the best answer


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