As an Employer - do you read a candidate's covering letter?

By : Forum Member
Published 26th May 2017 |
Read latest comment - 14th November 2017

 We were surprised to find out that some employers said that they never read them!


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How big was your sample or is it anecdotal? I would advise people to use a covering letter but maybe the worlds moved on?


Angela - My views & opinions are my own
Marketing Manager | Edinburgh Trusted Trader

In my experience some want a cover letter, some don't.  It's called a pain letter in America and I can understand why.

With online applications the successful applicants use the "keywords" for the role.  I've seen online job descriptions with all the keywords in bold so included them in applications but still didn't get an interview.  Talking to a recruiter at a well-known consultancy recently she agreed that it didn't matter whether you applied through a site like TotalJobs (others are available) or direct to the company, the outcome could be the same.  

At the end of the day, I supposed it's down to whoever is screening the applications and how much they know/want to know about the applicant's suitability.


How big was your sample or is it anecdotal? I would advise people to use a covering letter but maybe the worlds moved on?”
 

Hi Angela - apologies for the delay in responding.....

Our survey was carried out by our recruitment team asking the question to our clients and we were surprised by how few employers actually read the letter yet the same number expected candidates to supply a covering letter with their CV!

 Sue Franklin


Recruiting Together - Job Search
We've been matching jobs and candidates since 2012
Recruiting Together Ltd

Whoops apologies from me, been a bit busy! Have spoken to a few friends recently about this and the consensus was nobody seems  to bother with a covering letter anymore. 


Angela - My views & opinions are my own
Marketing Manager | Edinburgh Trusted Trader

These days it's more a covering email, and therefore a couple of sentences will suffice. However, I write CVs as part of my business and people do still ask for cover letters as well. 


Thanks, Rebecca, Proofreader Extraordinaire
Anarchy is as detestable in grammar as it is in society. Maurice Druon.
Pay for Precision | Proofreading, copy-editing & copywriting.

I think the reason why no-one reads covering letters anymore is because they are boring and say the same old stuff about being 'a team player', 'highly motivated', 'reliable' etc etc... YAWN

When I have applied for jobs in the past I have always written a slightly obscure and amusing covering letter. With most employers it has worked a treat and I have been offered an interview (and later the job...) and with the ones it hasn't resonated with, they obviously aren't the sort of people I would want to work with anyway!

So, to all applicants out there: Jazz up your covering letter and if it actually gets read, it might be enough to help you stand out from the crowd 

 


Many thanks,
Natalie - Your Local Girl Friday
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