Are Cover Letters Irrelevant?
Cover letters have been the cornerstone of job searches for ages. As attention spans wane and digital platforms swell, have they become passé? The answer is a resounding “no!”
Cover letters are about connection. They allow you to establish connection with the company and connect the dots between your skills and their job opening. They introduce you to the company, prime them to read your résumé strategically, and convey your values and culture. When you consider the amount of heavy-lifting a résumé does, it’s little wonder that they have become a mainstay of the HR world. A quality cover letter is marked by these characteristics:
1. Personal. It should be directed to the individual making interview decisions. Avoid “Dear Sir or Madam” at all costs.
2. Brief. No one wants to read a novel. Be focused and concise. It can be helpful to create an outline, write the letter, then go back and edit.
3. Customized. Tailor your content to the specific organization and position to which you are applying.
4. Direct. The best cover letters end with a clear action-item. Look forward to a potential interview.