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Importance of Cover Letter

Application consulting
New answer on Apr 13, 2024
5 Answers
127 Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 12, 2024

Hi,


I am applying to a consulting firm and the cover letter is not mandatory. Can I submit my application without it or will it have a negative impact on the screening of my application?

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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 12, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

the cover letter gives you the chance to talk about your motivation and ambition - it adds a personal touch if it is written well. The CV is just a list and descriptive but not inspirational.

Of course it is up to you to inlcude one if it is only optional and not mandatory. But keep in mind that there will be other applicants who will include a cover letter (maybe even a great one). And that could be a tie breaker in some instances.

You will put a lot of effort and many hours into your application and recruiting process anyway (at least if your aim is to get an offer). So what's the point in “saving a little bit of time” by not writing a cover letter that you can essentially use multiple times (with slight modifications)?

I personally always preferred if HR also gave me a candidate's cover letter to prepare for the interview because all of the CVs looked very similar (especially if it was campus recruiting and the candidates came from the same school). 

Anyway, just my two cents.

Best

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 13, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Can I submit my application without it or will it have a negative impact on the screening of my application?

Depending on the company, they may or may not screen your cover letter if you attach it. The problem is that you don’t know that in advance.

Given that most likely you have a format ready for the other companies and you just need to tweak it a bit, I would make the extra effort just in case and submit one.

You can find some tips for the cover letter below:

▶ How to Craft a Great Cover Letter

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 12, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Cover Letters can be of massive help. 

Most recruiters have started telling candidates not to send CLs because they are badly written OR written with ChatGPT or summarizing the same thing as the CV. 

But if you write an amazing one, it can really help you. 

That's because, with most firms, the CV and CL are all that the interviewer receives about you before meeting you. They use these two to make a first impression of who you are.

Best,
Cristian

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 12, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Others have great insights here. My short answer is that when a cover letter is not required it is largely helpful only in the following cases

  • Explaining any gaps on your resume
  • Explaining any other issues you think are important 
  • Showcasing your ability to write clearly and concisely 

Other than those, from what I have seen it does not always add much value, especially if you have to answer other questions in writing as part of the application process.

 

Best,

Udayan

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Apr 12, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

It has no negative impact. A very good cover letter may help, but most decisions (either positive or negative) are made without looking at the cover letter.

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Dennis gave the best answer

Dennis

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Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe
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