It’s a bad idea not to write a covering letter – here’s why
Friday, December 6, 2019
The job advert says send your CV and covering letter, and yet so many candidates don’t bother with the covering letter. What does this tell the recruiter? Firstly, that you can’t follow instructions. More importantly though it sends a clear signal that you don’t really want their job. You couldn’t be bothered to sell yourself to them and didn’t give them the information they need to hire you.
Employers ask for a covering letter to give you space to sell yourself to them – they want to recruit, but they want to recruit the best person so they need to know from you why that is YOU.
You should be using your covering letter to:
- explain why you are applying and why you are interested in the role and the organisation.
- outline why you consider yourself suitable and evidence it with examples to back it up. Summarise why you think you are right for the role and a few sentences to summarise the knowledge, skills and experience that makes you such a good match. Use their key requirements from their job advert as the basis for this.
- reassure the recruiter that you really do want the job, e.g. if you live a long way away say you are willing to move for the role; if you are moving away from your degree subject say why – it’s about making them believe in you and that you are motivated and keen to join them.
- conclude with a positive statement of intent, e.g. "I look forward to hearing from you." or "I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my application with you further" and thank the recruiter for considering your application.
Don’t believe us? Here are direct recruiter quotes:
“[The applicants] all need to include a covering letter/paragraph. A CV with limited work experience and lots of academic is great for some roles but I really need to see what they can bring to the role and how those skills will benefit the position”
“[if] living many miles away just a simple line ‘happy to relocate and understand where the position is located’”
“… the application needs to be relevant to the role, simply list out the five top things I’m looking for and what skills they have to support these.”
So you must include that covering letter – it is a sign you are genuinely interested in the job you are applying for and are serious about your application and your future with the company.
Seriously, sometimes you just need to make it easier for the employer to recruit you.