June 15, 2022, Comment off

Are Cover Letters Outdated? Why Requiring a Cover Letter in Your Application Process May Deter Candidates from Applying

The majority of employers do not read applicants’ cover letters. Instead, they focus on applicants’ resumes to determine whether they have the knowledge, skills, and experience required for success in a role.

This is why you might not want to require a cover letter with a resume. The fewer steps there are in your application process, the more likely candidates are to apply.

Find out why you should not include a cover letter in your application process and what you may want to request instead.

Low Impact on Interview Decisions

The majority of employers lack the time to read cover letters. Because employers typically receive many applications for each job, they cannot read two documents per applicant. As a result, most employers read only the resumes.

The majority of employers who previously read cover letters found that most letters do not provide insight into the applicant’s writing ability. Most applicants use a downloaded cover letter template or have a resume writer create their cover letter. This is why most employers say a cover letter has little to no impact on who they decide to interview.  

Summary of Qualifications on Resume

A properly created resume begins with a summary of the applicant’s qualifications. This means there is no need to repeat the qualifications in a cover letter.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software is often used to rank an applicant’s resume. The software searches for keywords that match the keywords in the job description. If there are enough matches, the resume likely will be passed to the hiring manager. Therefore, the proper use of keywords on a resume eliminates the need for a cover letter.

Use of Social Media for Hiring

The majority of employers use social media to hire job applicants. The process is faster and more productive than reading cover letters and resumes.

If you include social media in your sourcing, you likely do not require a cover letter to be submitted with each resume. As a result, you should not require a cover letter from your other sourcing efforts either.

Replacing the Cover Letter

The cover letter is designed to build a bridge between the applicant and the hiring manager. This shows the applicant understands the job and wants to work for the company.

Instead of requesting a cover letter with each resume, you may want to ask for the following:

  • A portfolio with relevant examples
  • Professional references
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A short video introduction

Get Help with Your Hiring Process

You should reconsider whether including a cover letter in your application process is necessary. Because your hiring team likely does not read the cover letters, the letters likely have no impact on which applicants are chosen for interviews.     

For help with hiring HR professionals, contact Arlington Resources. Reach out to us today.