When you see a request for a Cover Letter, the recruiter is testing 3 things...
Have you read and understood the job advert?
Can you follow simple instructions?
Are you engaged and committed?
I always request cover letters and those who write a good one usually make it straight to the top of my shortlist. Those who don't bother, have to work MUCH harder to get my attention. A busy employer / recruiter can view your lack of cover letter as a lack of interest, or an inability to follow instruction, in essence without a cover letter, your first impression is blown. If you have a great CV that you've worked hard to perfect, don't waste your efforts by forgetting the cover letter!.
My advice is this; send a personalised cover letter with every job application, it demonstrates desire, effort and is a great way to make sure your CV is well received.
Good luck with the job hunting!
Katy Harwood (DipRP, FIRP)
Sunshine Recruitment Solutions