Monday, May 24, 2010

Cover Letters are Obsolete and Ineffective, Or Are They?

When is comes to putting your personal marketing collateral together, should a well written cover letter be part of the package? The answer to this question depends upon whom you ask.

Fact: Most HR departments will take the time to store résumés onto their database, but it is unlikely that they will so the same with your cover letter

Fact: Given a limited amount of time, most people will read a résumé long before taking the time to read a cover letter.

Fact: Hiring manager will read a cover letter only after they are satisfied that the candidate has met the requirements of the job.

Fact: Hiring managers will deny interviews based upon information found in their cover letters.

Fact:
Job boards do not keyword search cover letters; job boards always keyword search résumés.

Conclusions:
  • Don’t bother submitting cover letters to job boards or recruiting managers as they rarely have the time to read them.
  • Do bother customizing both cover letters and résumés when applying to smaller companies wherein it is likely your marketing collateral will be read by a human and not simply scanned into the company’s database abyss.