May 12, 2017 |
While the cover letter has always been the darling of the job application process in Shasta County, recruiting and hiring experts from around the country are reporting that the importance of the cover letter has declined drastically, and many hiring managers don’t even take the time to read them anymore.
This presents a shocking reality to many job seekers.
If the cover letter is dead, how is it possible to craft a quality resume in its place?
Luckily, the answer isn’t nearly as complicated as it seems.
Even though the cover letter has fallen by the wayside, there are many ways that job-seekers of today can flesh out their resumes to stand out to would-be employers, even in light of the disappearing cover letter.
For years, the cover letter served an important purpose in the world of hiring and HR. On the part of the employee, the cover letter was a critical space to tout relevant skills, provide detail or anecdotes that would set the employee apart from others, and make a personal connection with the company.
On the part of the hiring manager, the cover letter was a place for employees to showcase their skills and reach out to the company.
In the last several years, though, the cover letter has suffered a major slip in popularity, and now outlets like Forbes are reporting that they’re all but extinct.
The reasons for this are complex. On the one hand, the influx of job seekers has increased for most companies, and reading through cover letters is time-consuming enough that HR managers simply don’t have the time to do it anymore.
On the other hand, digital hiring and applications have increased massively, and many web-based application platforms don’t offer a space for a cover letter.
These things, combined with the rise of social media (which can arguably tell employers more about an employee than even the best cover letter) have spelled certain death for cover letters, and many would-be employees are wondering what to do instead.
So the cover letter is dead. How do you build out a great application package in its wake?
Follow these tips:
While most resumes have a section for things like relevant volunteer experience, the death of the cover letter is calling for an enhanced sense of personalization. For example, many employees are adding information like related hobbies, memberships, and pursuits to the bottom of their resumes to give hiring managers an idea of who they are and what they care about.
This provides the personal appeal of a cover letter, without the cover letter.
Once you’ve built out the personal segment of your resume, get to work on the summary section at the head of the page. This summary is two or three sentences that summarize who you are and why you’re a good fit for the job. In many ways, it is the equivalent of the cover letter, but a much-condensed version.
Social media is a great way for hiring managers to get to know you. When you apply for a job, supply the hiring manager with your social media handles and encourage them to visit your profiles to learn more about you as a person and as an employee. Just be sure your profiles are ready to be evaluated by a manager, and that they don’t include anything incriminating or embarrassing.
While hiring managers want to learn about what you’ve done, they also want to learn about how well you’ve done it. With this in mind, be sure to highlight the accomplishments and results of your previous positions. This helps hiring managers to understand why your position was relevant and put a name on the things you’ve achieved.
While the downfall of the cover letter took many by surprise, it’s not as critical to a great application packet as many people believe. With this in mind, employees can still provide quality, detailed, personalized employment packages to employers, even if the cover letters of yesteryear are no longer involved.
These tips help encourage quality employment packages, and can help job seekers used to writing detailed cover letters land the job regardless.