Cover letters are not dead!
If you heard or read that cover letters are dead, let me tell you this is not true.
We live in a hyper, super fast-paced environment and may be this is the reason why many recruiters don’t read cover letters but many other recruiters do read them and hiring managers LOVE cover letters.
Cover letters are very important for several reasons, and I always recommend my clients to send one whenever possible. Today, I want to explain why it’s so important to use this tool and I want to break them down right here for you:
1) LEVERAGE YOUR KEYWORDS USE
Cover letters are an extra opportunity you have to leverage your keyword density in your application.
Not sure if you’re familiar with the artificial intelligence in charge of screening resumes when candidates submit their applications online. Just in case you aren’t, let me explain briefly how they work. These automated systems based on a number of criteria will screen and reject resumes or will rank them as a strong match. If your resume is not ranked as a strong match, guess what? you won’t hear back from the company (one of the most frustrating complaints I get from clients when they first reach out to me).
One of the big players to get ranked as a strong match are the keywords you choose and use throughout your resume which will be a topic for another article, but in short and simple words, if you’re smart and strategic with the keywords you use, you’ll have higher chances of getting past the robots’ screening and being seen by a recruiter.
The thing is that for the sake of adding keywords, many people run the risk to be rejected: keyword overload is a no-go because it’ll actually cause the opposite effect you’re looking to achieve, so I do not recommend to use the same keyword more than twice, or 3 times max. However, with a cover letter, you’re leveraging your keywords “user quota” because it’s an extra opportunity you have to embed those keywords in your application.
2) EXTRA INFORMATION
The cover letter could also be helpful because you may want to add more info about yourself that you may want the hiring manager to know, but it’s not on your resume (i.e.: it’s the perfect opportunity to mention awards, prizes, nominations, other accolades, etc.).
3) STAND OUT FROM YOUR COMPETITION
Since nowadays fewer people are writing cover letters, it’ll help you stand out from your competition showing you’re willing to go the extra mile.
The short lesson for today is: DO NOT ditch the cover letter.