I belong to numerous Facebook groups filled with members who are sourcers, recruiters, HR folks, techies, and assorted “talent” pundits. At least once per month, I swear to you, a lengthy thread emerges when someone posts something along the line of “do you still want to receive cover letters from candidates?”
People get riled up! It’s almost as hot a debate as the other old conversational standby in these groups about “Agency vs. Corporate Recruiters.” (That one, by the way, is also a crowd-pleaser; routinely getting 72+ comments within 24 hours.)
The “no cover letter” crowd is adamant:
- not needed because I can find everything I want about a candidate online
- I don’t read them anyway
- I haven’t looked at a cover letter in 10 years!
Those who like cover letters point out that:
- a cover letter can tell a story
- if no one else submits a cover letter, the candidate can stand out
- for positions that require writing skills, a cover letter is a must
I sit firmly in the “yes” camp.
I recently sat down with the folks at the Louisiana Job Connection and discussed “How to Spot a Leader Just from Reading a Cover Letter.” Really. In the article I talk about how I look for “The Four I’s” when perusing a cover letter:
As I opined, whether you’re a hiring manger, recruiter or HR gal sifting through the inbox, when you receive not only the resume/CV but also a cover letter “you can weed through all the job-search buzzwords and spot candidates with genuine leadership skills or leadership potential.”
Does that make me a dinosaur?