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>> Thats too bad, because at GOOD companies if you don't include a cover
>> letter or samples when requested you are not even considered for
>> employment. Moreover, messy and poorly formatted resumes go right in
>> the trash.
I might add that when I was hiring people I considered the covering
letter almost as important as the resume. The resume tells you about a
candidate's experience; it usually doesn't tell you much about the
candidate. The tiny glimpses of humanity, humour or hubris you might
find in a personal covering letter can make a resume stand out among the
dozens (if not hundreds) of almost identical resumes you receive, and
make a real difference in your decision about whether or not to hire.
You are hiring a person, after all, not a dubious list of software tools
the person has mastered.
More objectively, a covering letter can also "customize" a resume by
highlighting those elements most relevant to the position being applied
for -- as long as it's done with humanity and humour, and not hubris.