The cover letter is a mainstay of job applications and job sites, but all too often they’re discarded unread while the hiring manager’s attention goes to the meat of the application: the resume. The blog Wise Man Say has a revolutionary suggestion: ditch it altogether and put that energy towards customising your resume, making connections or building a portfolio of your actual work you can invite a potential employer to see.
Photo by Dita Dita Margarita.
There is a caveat here — if the job application specifically calls for a cover letter, you should obviously include one, and we have some tips on how to write a good cover letter. If you’re applying to a position via email, or directly to the hiring manager or company’s HR department, attaching a separate cover letter is just one more attachment in the recipient’s inbox — one that Wise Man Say says will never get opened.
Speaking as someone who’s been on both sides of this table, I can say that when I got candidates through an HR system full of resumes, the cover letters were usually stripped by the resume system, and when I got direct applications from people I knew, their resume was the important part of their message. What do you think? Do you think the cover letter is dead and gone, or does it still have a place? Sound off in the comments below.
When to Write a Cover Letter (Hint: Never) [Wise Man Say]