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I sent my CV to get a job into one company. But they rejected it.

The reason was: "Please do not send your CV without a cover note."

English is not my native language and it is hard for me to understand what cover note means. What is it?

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It's more often referred to as a covering letter. All they mean is they want you to include a brief letter along with your CV - normally just to specify which particular position you're applying for (and/or which particular job advert you're responding to). –  FumbleFingers Nov 7 '12 at 17:10
    
@FumbleFingers: in the US it's called a cover letter. –  Mitch Nov 7 '12 at 18:26
    
@Mitch: I think cover is probably less common than covering in the UK, but mainly I was saying it's a letter. Apart from anything else, in the UK, a cover note very commonly means a temporary certificate of [motor] insurance that tides you over until the full paperwork arrives. –  FumbleFingers Nov 7 '12 at 19:22
    
@FumbleFingers: In the US, a 'cover letter' is what one sends, along with a resume/CV attached, that says "I'd like a job at your place. Please hire me because my resume says I'm highly qualified for the position you posted (but not overqualified!)". 'covering' and 'note' and their permutations, those aren't used that way in the US: cars, jobs, or whatever. –  Mitch Nov 7 '12 at 21:18
    
@Mitch: Well you obviously have your finger on the pulse of the modern US usage. Apparently cover letter has romped decisively into the lead in the US over the last 2-3 decades. It looks a bit odd to me, obviously (UK usage hasn't changed like that) - but like I said, I was mainly concerned with the fact that it's usually a letter, not a note. –  FumbleFingers Nov 7 '12 at 21:36
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closed as off topic by Robusto, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Zairja, MετάEd, Marthaª Nov 7 '12 at 19:00

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1 Answer

Hmm. ODO doesn't help much.

cover note
a temporary certificate showing that a person has a current insurance policy.

However, cover letter is more helpful, and even provides a suitable example:

a letter sent with, and explaining the contents of, another document or a parcel of goods:
you will need to write a covering letter to send with your CV

You are being asked not simply to send your CV, but attach it to a letter (or note) explaining why you are sending it.

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