Recruiters: If You Don't Want Cover Letters, Then Say So!!!

Fewer Recruiters Care About Cover Letters

As recruiters get busier, and applicant tracking systems do the heavy lifting of resume screening, it appears that fewer HR Departments than ever care about cover letters. A recent SHRM survey of HR professionals found that only 22% of respondents considered it a mistake for applicants to omit cover letters:

Improve Your Candidate Experience

Candidates sweat bullets over their cover letters. If you want to improve your candidate experience and attract more applicants, then make it clear that you don't care to receive cover letters. Let's face it, it verges on sadistic to make people write cover letters that you don't plan to read. 

I currently use this language:

"Please send your MS Word resume to Donna Svei, Executive Search Consultant."

I don't ask for a cover letter.

I'm thinking about using this language:

"Please send your MS Word resume (cover letter optional) to Donna Svei, Executive Search Consultant.


You can find the complete SHRM survey here

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles and blog at AvidCareerist. For more information, you can find my LinkedIn profile here or email me at

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