I am going to present my candidacy for a Ph.D. position. For this, I have prepared a version of my CV using Latex and moderncv. The moderncv template includes both the CV and the cover letter in the same document. This is the first time I have seen this, and I wonder what are the pros and cons of including both of them in the same document vs. sending them in separate PDF files. Also, which approach is the most common?

Just in case it is relevant: several positions are offered (each one in a different topic under a different advisor) and I am presenting my candidacy for the subset of topics that I am interested in. The recipient of the email is the department account, so I have no idea who is actually receiving and dispatching my request.

1 Answer 1


Separate is the most common thing to do in general (for graduate programs, jobs, etc), probably because it is the most convenient for applicants, who will often have only one CV but different cover letters for different applications.

Also, you will keep updating your CV throughout your career, and use it for many things, whereas cover letters are position specific. This makes it somewhat more covenient to keep your CV separate.

The only pro I can imagine to keeping them in the same file is that it will take whoever's looking at your application one less click to see your information, but it seems unlikely that the person receiving this will care very much whether they get one or two pdfs (if they do, they should say what they want in the instructions).

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