Cover Letters & Online Applications

A lot of companies have made the move to online applications. Having used a few of these, its usually along the lines of fill out your basic information and attach a resume pdf - but what about a cover letter? They never mention that part. Should we typically put an extra page with the cover letter in the pdf? Or is that more for when the application is directed to a specific individual?

If there is an option to attach one, do it.

But also know that blindly applying to everything online doesn’t have a high success rate

+1. As somebody who endured the job app rodeo for about a year straight, the only responses I ever got from black home online submissions were from small/medium (<500 ppl) companies, and that was like 5 interviews out of 100+ submissions.

Yeah I don’t expect it to go anywhere lol. I just stumbled across a recruiting agency posting for research associates for a company seeking a new presence in my city so figured why not. Doesn’t say who the firm is so I can’t apply any other way anyways.

Yup. I have hundreds upon hundreds of online submissions on hundreds of sites or emails. It’s almost worthless.

Hah, yep. It’s going in for some major overhauls when I get some time.

The cover letter is definitely helpful, unless your resume is really that good. From what I’ve seen during my days when I was on the recruiting team for sell-side research at a bulge bracket years ago, candidates make two common mistakes on their cover letter: (1) it is too long and too much prose, bordering on the disingenuous; and (2) it doesn’t help establish common groud. Your cover letter will go much further if you can at least cite one or two people you’ve talked to at the firm. Even better would be to have those contacts forward your resume to the hiring managers.