Do Cover Letters really matter?

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Re: Do Cover Letters really matter?

Postby Matthies » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:55 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:I asked the CSO office here this exact same question last fall. The CSO counselor I was talking to said that roughly 50% of large law firms actually take the time to read them. The problem is that no one knows which firms do read them, and which ones don't. The CSO counselor also told me she doesn't read them for people who apply to her law firm, unless there is something odd in your resume, which is when she will look at your cover letter for a quick explanation (e.g. if you didn't work or go to school for 2 years or something like that).

This is pretty much true from my experience from when I worked at a big. The main reason why is just about all the cover letters are the same, they are spammed by every law student out there, and are directed to the "hiring partner/recruiter" who has seen a bigliion of them all written exactly the same way. About the only way to get your cover letter actually read at a large firm is to send it to a real person, addressed to that person and hopefully mentioning a mutual aquatince and desire to work in their practice area in the first line. They will then forward it to the hiring recruiter, likely with a note mentioning the mutual aquataince (especially if you can get them to also e-mail the person saying they recommend you before you letter arives).

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Re: Do Cover Letters really matter?

Postby Tree » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:49 pm

Matthies wrote:here is how mine look:

Matthies M. Matthies (centered)
my address, phone, email
(end of header)


Mr. Joe Smith
Managing Partner
Smith, Jones and Kline
1234 W. 32nd Place
Denver, CO 80000

Dear Mr. Smith,

Paragraph one: who I am, why I'm writing, if anyone refered me, hook to get the person to read rest of the letter

Paragraph 2: What skills I have that the employers asks for, needs, can use. What I can do for the employer NOT what I can get out of working for them. Show I have done my research on employer and match my skills to their needs.

Paragraph 3: Close, tell the employer what I am going to do and when (i.e. follow up) how to get a hold of me and what I have included (in case some materials get lost)




(I don't do an RE line since I ID in the first paragraph why I'm writing, responding to job add, seeking consideration, asking for informational interview, contacting because mutuital aqantaince said I should speak to you ect.)

Also I always include a cover letter, even if e-mailing materials, e-mail is NOT the place for cover letter stuff because it might not get printed and included in your file and its looks unprofessional when printed. Use e-mail to briefly say why your contacting them, what you have included and how to reach you then name your files Matthies - cover letter, Matthies - resume, Matthies - writing sample, Matthies - refances (and put in either word format or PDF I often say this in the e-mail in case they don't have the software (allot of firms use Wordpeferct or mac))

EDIT: you make a templte of this and just plug in the relevant info and peronlize it to save time

Excellent post

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