Most recruiters say they place more importance on the CV than the cover letter when evaluating candidates for global development positions. With tough competition among job seekers and strict requirements passed on by donors, recruiters first want to make sure you have the necessary qualifications before taking the time to read a cover letter.
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However, degrees and years of experience aren’t the only criteria mission-driven employers in global development seek. They also want to hire professionals who identify with their values and will fit in with their culture. While a resume can help them check the boxes on a long list of technical and management requirements, a cover letter is where employers get to know you, your motivations and why you are uniquely positioned to help them achieve their goals. If a CV is your opening statement, a cover letter is your closing argument. And there is little debate that a poorly written cover letter can land an otherwise strong application in the garbage bin.