Should you Always Send a Cover Letter?
We believe cover letters can still play an important role in helping candidates distinguish themselves in a competitive environment. Therefore, we recommend candidates include a personalized cover letter aligning the candidate's background with the requirements listed in the job posting. Of course there is debate over the importance of cover letters and if ten people are asked their opinion there will likely be ten different answers - the same as it is for resumes.
For us it's a simple matter of why not? Why not cover the bases when formally applying for a position by going the extra step to show your interest? Polls have shown that about 50% of recruiters and hiring managers read cover letters and 50% don't place any value in them. Writing off 50% of the hiring managers isn't worth the risk so best to include a cover letter.
Cover letters aren't necessary if someone has asked for a copy of your resume and offered to hand deliver (or email) it to a hiring manager. Most likely the reputation of the messenger and the narrative they provide regarding your background and skillset will carry more weight and be more relevant to the hiring manager than a letter.
Cover Letters are Time Consuming
Yes, writing personalized letters for each position can take a lot of time and be frustrating, especially if the candidate is casting such a wide net in their job search that literally almost any company, job or industry will do. It's called chasing a paycheck. And while we all need a paycheck, taking a position that is not the right fit eventually leads to more frustration and another job search. Focusing efforts on about six companies generally produces better results and relieves candidates from a lot of administrative tasks (cover letters) during a search.
Pick the right-fit companies, do some research about the organization, and showcase your knowledge in the cover letter. Cover letters are also excellent vehicles for explaining things in your background that may appear as red flags on the resume, such as:
Do the hard work and write personalized letters for positions that appear to be a perfect fit with your skillset and interests. For others, develop a core letter that can be easily adjusted by inserting three or four bullet points tailored to the job posting.
What is an E-Note?
Email cover letters or E-Notes introduce resumes attached to e-mail messages. E-Notes are written within the body of the email and generally are more abbreviated than formal cover letters. Sometimes, candidates will also place a text version of the resume in the email itself due to concerns hiring managers have over viruses with attached documents.
Let us know if you have any questions!
Clients using our services receive a complimentary portfolio of cover letters
that are easily personalized. The portfolio includes:
Letters for Recruiters
Letter for Posted Positions
Letter of Referral
Interview Followup Letter
Letter of Acceptance
Letter Declining an Offer
Letter of Resignation