Employers and hiring managers usually read your resume before your cover letter. This is because your resume provides hiring managers with an overview of your recent experience along with your skills. Employers first examine a resume. They usually first review the resume to ensure that you have the desired skills and experience before taking the time to read your cover letter.
This is especially true in fields that require specific skills, such as computer science and engineering. Most old job search books make you believe that your resume is magically displayed from the envelope (ahem, this should be your first clue that the information is out of date) with the cover letter at the top, and then read at a leisurely pace by a hiring manager. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your cover letter is only read after your resume has passed a quick scan and screen.
Only then is attention paid to the cover letter. So it's not an introduction to your resume, it's a supplement to your resume. If there are clear instructions, it's important to follow them to the letter to maximize your chances of getting the right care. In general, you should choose to send your cover letter and resume as separate documents, except when the presentation guidelines require a single document.
In fact, many companies and employers now only accept digital cover letters and resumes via email in order to use candidate tracking systems (ATS). The exception is when you send a personal cover letter to a specific person in your referral network. You should always choose to send a cover letter and resume as separate documents; however, be flexible enough to do whatever the situation requires. Then, the second paragraph should cover your personal connection to the person and the type of role you are looking for.
In fact, many don't, but in the entire hiring equation, if he were to assign odds, a hiring manager is more likely to read the cover letter than anyone else involved. Gone are the days when a job applicant would simply hand an employer a cover letter and a resume on paper. But what about those cases where you have no choice but to combine your cover letter and resume? When, include the cover letter as an attachment or copy and paste your text into the email message. When people attach a letter AND a resume to an email, let me say that only one attachment is opened and it's always the resume.
Even so, I would add another factor that narrows the field: hiring managers from small businesses with a lower volume of hiring (such as a small non-profit organization) are more likely to read a cover letter than a hiring manager from companies like Amazon or KPMG. However, in creative fields such as publishing, journalism and copywriting, employers can first read your cover letter to ensure that your writing skills are at the level they require. If you want to make sure that the document is readable, you can send two copies of each, one in Word format and one in PDF format.