***UPDATE*** The results to the post below are in. See my conclusions HERE or HERE
An unusually short post from me this time around…. What do you mean, “Phew”? !!!
Recently I’ve been having some interesting discussions and debates on the relevance of our dear o’l friend, the cover letter in todays recruitment practices and processes.
I am firmly in the, “there’re a waste of time and hardly ever read anyway” camp but what do others think?
Are cover letters still a necessary requirement in the recruitment world of today or should they be banished to the crypts of recruitment past?
I’ve set up a little poll on LinkedIn and will be reporting on the findings, if enough people participate that is.
Simply vote by clicking on this link - http://t.co/A2qes2w to be taken to the poll (which is set to expire on Friday 19th August 2011)
Let the debate begin
I feel a professionally written cover letter is important and I have a reason. Recruiters as it is do not read the full CV, particularly if it covers more than a decade experience. The cover letter can be used to concise the CV content and present what is relevant to the opportunity available. It shows that the candidate has spent time to relate to the job. My view.
Agree with Sandra. I rarely read them unless something in the first paragraph catches my eye - info such as relo plans, why one is interested, etc., I never read if the cover letter is attached to the email in a separate document....
Hi Anne, Sunil. Thanks for your comments. This debate is really kicking up some great ideas. I look forward to posting my findings when the poll closes. if you haven't done so already please cast your vote on the LinkedIn poll i've set up here - http://t.co/A2qes2w
Thanks again everyone for your contributions.
they are still important but - as already mentioned they must be relevant. Just a blind resume with no real direction on what you want or why I should open your resume attachment will most likely be left to deal with in all my free time.
My favorite was years ago recruiting for one giant software company and receiving a cover letter expressing interest in working for another giant e-commerce company...
I find this to be an industry/role/skill set specific answer. In the case of technology, where I spend all of my time, I have asked countless managers this very question and they NEVER read the cover letter of a software engineer.
That said, the marketing and advertising or for examplic technical writer type roles ALWAYS prefer a short and well-written cover letter.
Personally - I appreciate them but believe the background and more importantly a 5-10 minute conversation with the person is much more representative.
Wow. truly blown away by the level of response on this one. The poll is still open over on LinkedIn - http://t.co/A2qes2w. If you haven't already done so please head over there an casty your vote.
Really looking forward to collating the results and blogging about my findings and conclusions :-)
The ones I find most useful are the T-shaped cover letters with two columns where the left column lists the requirements and the right column lists the corresponding skills.
Outside of the T-shaped cover letters, I'm in the "no" camp.