Are Cover Letters a thing of the past? If not, then what value do they add? More importantly, what do Hiring Managers want to see in a cover letter?
To vote on the poll – scroll down. Or read this article first, and then cast your vote to help candidates know what they need to provide.
For those who don’t see the need for a Cover Letter – their argument may be that the One Page Curriculum Vitae will sufficiently outline relevant experience, skills, and supporting achievements that resonate with the Hiring Manager of the role you are applying for. And, that this in itself should provide evidence that you have researched the role before hitting the ‘Apply Now’ button. To some degree I support this argument. But the fact is – sometimes you will be asked to provide a cover letter. (Note: In addition to the One Page CV, a full CV may also be required prior to interview)
So other than demonstrating that you have invested the time to research the role before hitting the ‘Apply Now’ button, what – if anything, does the Cover Letter add to the application process?
Firstly, it demonstrates that you understand where this role fits in the organisation and the value it will deliver. It provides a clear understanding that you are familiar with the objectives / strategy of the organisation based on research and fact. (this is sometimes challenging – especially if the recruitment consultant / Career Centre are acting as ill-informed gate keepers or don’t return calls!). So you have to be a detective. Research. Research. Research.
Secondly, through a Cover Letter you are able to directly link your key competencies and skills to the key objectives achieved through the appointment of the role. You can articulate your ‘fit’ for the role and the company you intend to join.
Thirdly, you provide links to additional information such as your full CV, your Linkedin URL, cloud hosted portfolios, and a call to action etc.
All of the above should be contained on one page. Clearly formatted with plenty of white space. Not a blur of small font text.
So if the Hiring Manager requests a Cover Letter be furnished as part of your application – ensure your letter adds value and does not sabotage the opportunity.
- Keep your letter pithy and on message.
- Address the Hiring Managers needs through factual links to your relevant skills and experience.
- Demonstrate that you have researched the role thoroughly, through stating fact and thought leadership.
Should cover letters be part of the application process?
What do Hiring Managers want to see in a Cover Letter?
Provide your input on the poll below and help candidates address your needs.
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