Even before I fell into the recruiting industry, I never believed in cover letters. Now that I have been immersed in the recruiting industry for years, I am a firm believer that cover letters are and will forever remain dead.
Here are just a few reasons that job-seekers should stop wasting their time crafting the ultimate cover letter.
1. Recruiters Don't Even Look at Cover Letters
Seriously, I can count on one hand how many times I have actually read through an applicant's cover letter in my recruiting career.
What I have found is that the cover letters recruiters do tend to receive are very standard, boring, and oftentimes they are geared toward a different position or even worse - a different organization altogether.
Recruiters are really interested in looking at the substance in the resume, not reading a cover letter that speaks to capabilities. We want to see actions, achievements, outcomes, work history, and an individual's capabilities based on tangible evidence and skillset.
At the end of the day, it's the resume or social media profile that is the key to an initial conversation with a recruiter - not the cover letter.
2. Mobile Recruiting is Phasing Out Cover Letters
Job-seekers love simple job applications.
If it's a one-click to apply option, that is even better. More and more, mobile recruiting through platforms such as Indeed, Careerbuilder, and LinkedIn are enabling organizations and job-seekers to ease the process of applying to a job.
Organizations requiring prospective candidates to include a cover letter are simply limiting their pool of qualified talent.
Although many organizations, recruiters, and/or hiring managers may argue that requiring a cover letter helps to see who is really serious about applying to a particular position - I believe this is an outdated philosophy, and once again will end up limiting an organization's qualified talent pool.
Gone are the days of jumping through hoops to apply for a job.
3. Social Media is Where It's At - Seriously
I cannot speak for all recruiters, but I will tell you that I would much rather take a look at someone's social media sites (specifically LinkedIn) than a cover letter any day of the week.
In fact, I will also argue that having a strong digital footprint is a very attractive quality for an applicant to possess - no matter the position or industry.
Additionally, I utilize social media to compare a candidate's submitted resume to their listed experience on LinkedIn or other avenues.
Does it correlate? Are there inconsistencies? Are there red flags?
Plus, you can oftentimes get a stronger sense of intangible qualities such as a candidate's personality, interests, and activities through their social media profiles - allowing the opportunity to get to know a candidate prior to having an initial conversation.