Should I Include a Cover Letter with My CV?

This is a question I get asked virtually weekly, so I thought I’d let you know what I normally reply and talk you through my reasons.

As you know, I was a former HR Manager before becoming a Career Coach and therefore have recruited for lots of positions throughout my career.  Imagine me sat at my desk and opening envelopes containing CV’s and doing the same via email.  At any one time I could have up to 15 positions that I was recruiting for and my time was precious.

The first envelope I open has a CV only.  No covering letter and so I have NO IDEA what they are applying for.  That CV deserves to go straight in the bin.  They have missed an opportunity to ‘sell’ themselves to me!

The second one I open has a CV and a covering letter.  In that covering letter the first paragraph clearly states the job they are applying for (tick).  Not only have I got 2 pages of CV, but I’ve also got another page (the covering letter) of additional information about that candidate.  3 pages in all!

The third one I open has a CV and covering letter (tick) AND on the CV is a URL to take me directly to their LinkedIn profile (tick).  I now have the equivalent of 5 pages for this client.

Do you want the opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself to that prospective company?  Then take the next step and produce a great covering letter and put your LinkedIn URL on your CV too.  This is your sales brochure so sell yourself!