The Truth About Cover Letters


One of the key ways that outplacement firms and executive coaches tell candidates to show their interest in a job is by tailoring their resume to the role and by sending the resume with a customized cover letter to the company.

Even though some jobs still require a candidate to provide a cover letter when applying to the job, 90% of hiring managers admit that they do not read them.

In recent years, the hiring process has become more automated. Increasingly, companies have implemented Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to capture, analyze and track candidates through the hiring process. This starts with the candidate’s resume being loaded into the ATS, and in many instances, the first level of candidate screening is performed by the ATS comparing the candidate’s resume to the job profile. This process completely ignores the cover letter.

What should you do instead?

  • If you are submitting your resume via email, in the email text, provide a brief description ofs why you are sending the email and express your appreciation for the recipients willingness to review your resume. Also, ask them to provide you with feedback one way or another. This will get a dialog started.

  • Spend time on social media, building your brand and providing links to your content in the emails that you send. It will provide the recipient with more visibility into your personal brand.

  • Spend the time focusing on aligning your resume to the job specification. Jobscan is a great tool for comparing your resume to a job posting. You can try it for free, but the real power is to have it analyze your resume to the actual live job posting. The tool can determine which ATS is being used, and it will analyze your resume to the algorithms used by the particular ATS.

The odds are highly likely that the time you are spending crafting a cover letter is time better spent on other areas of your job search. Want to learn more, click on the link Looking for a New Job, Focus your Time and sign up to automatically receive future tools and techniques to accelerate your job search.

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