Are cover letters worth writing?
One person says no one reads them. Another says the letter is more important than the resume.
Sometimes looking for jobs is a lot like dating:
Say you have two dates with two different people, both of whom know your food preferences:
Date person #1 remembers that you are a vegetarian, checks out the Zagat rating and books a table at Paul McCartney's favorite vegetarian restaurant.
Date person #2 takes you to a steak house, when you say you don't eat meat -- tells you there's a lot on the salad bar.
Which date are you more inclined to prefer? The one who has taken the time to listen and consider your needs, or the one who's asked you to be flexible.
Cover letters are an opportunity for you to show the kind of date you are:
A good letter shows you've taken the time to think through the job -- and how your skills line up. It shows how interested you are, that you've taken the time to familiarize yourself with the role.
Like dating, there's no guarantee your potential employer will take the time to carefully assess your interest. There's no guarantee you'll get a call back.
But the more effort you put forward, the more likely it is -- at some point in the process -- that you will have your interest reciprocated. And a cover letter shows that you can be a good date.