In my last article I wrote about how writing a cover letter actually increases risk and… it kind of upset a few people.
But as Seth Godin says, “if you aren’t making people uncomfortable, your idea isn’t worth pursuing.”
A couple of LinkedIn groups got a hold of my article and thankfully a few HR professionals chimed in about the value of writing a cover letter.
One HR professional has this to say, “We always read cover letters. We don’t always read resumes.” Do you need any more proof that writing a cover letter is risky business?
She’s literally saying “if I don’t like your cover letter I’ll eliminate you without ever reading your resume!
She then followed that up with, “If the job requires a specific education or designation, as in my Actuary example, then yes, we would use education as the screening tool whether the person had a cover letter or not”
More undeniable proof that if they are looking for specific education then the cover letter doesn’t matter.
Another HR professional had this to say, “I’ve not omitted someone for not including cover letters because they aren’t mandatory”
She then followed that up by saying, “I have however screened out candidates that applied to me with wrong company names, wrong job titles and incorrect information i.e. providing a number not in service”
Are you seeing a pattern here??? Cover letters are “important” because they’re an additional screening tool. But if there is something more important we’re looking for or we’re too busy (which most Hiring Managers are) we skip them completely and go right to the good stuff.
You’ll also notice a fellow recruiter who chimes in with, “As an agency recruiter, we do not typically read cover letters. I prefer to pick up the phone and talk to our candidates, upon their submission of a great resume. Just the way we roll….” That’s honesty, from a hiring professional!
I also talked about the Monkey Trap, your Job Search and Career Change.