The cover letter is dead – here’s what’s replacing it
The age of the cover letter may seemingly be over, according to new research from ‘Jobvite’s 2017 Job Seeker Nation Study’.
CNBC reports that the survey, which interviewed 2,200 candidates, found that fewer than ever are actively submitting a cover letter with their CV. What’s more surprising, is that recruiters and employers don’t seem to mind.
47% of those asked said that they didn’t attach a cover letter alongside their most recent application. Furthermore, only 26% of recruiters “consider cover letters important”.
Which begs the questions, what exactly are candidates doing instead? Well, according to the report, they are relying on referrals.
A spokesperson in the Jobvite report commented: “Almost 35% of jobseekers applied to their current or most recent position via referral — especially millennials. Luckily, Jobvite data shows that referred applicants are five times more likely than average to be hired, and 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board.”
CNBC reports that savvy applicants are also utilising creative strategies to stand out, sending branded messages to market their personality in a way that the hirer will remember. This is a trend that we have seen many times; from cupcakes with digital CVs attached, to delivering an application via a quirkily dressed courier, to even creating a virtual game for hiring managers to play.
However, if your candidate insists on sending a cover letter, a recent podcast from Slate’s Editor-in-Chief Julia Turner, explained how to best use them in a constructive way.
“An effective cover letter should be an argument for how the set of experiences you’ve had up to this point in your career make you the perfect candidate for the job,” she said.
“It should reveal your understanding of the place you’re trying to work at and a set of beliefs about how the things you’re good at would help that place achieve its goals.”