Have you heard that cover letters are dead? That hiring managers don’t read them? That they’re an unnecessary regurgitation of what’s already on your resume? Well, as was true with Mark Twain, rumors of the cover letter’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. It’s true that many employers discard the cover letter and go straight to the resume, but it’s also true that many don’t. Related: Why I Won’t Be Reading Your Cover Letter In fact, according to Career Directors International’s 2012 Global Hiring Trends Survey, 26% of hiring authorities state that they continue to read cover letters. That’s about one reader out of every four! So, yes, a cover letter is still something you will want to spend time creating to give yourself the best odds of getting an interview. And, honestly, a cover letter is a tremendous opportunity to connect the dots between your resume--where you’ve most likely presented a more formal, professional skillset--to yourself as an enthusiastic, productive, engaged worker who perfectly matches the company’s corporate culture. It’s the chance to use the words “I,” “me,” and “my,” transforming yourself from a number in a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) into a real, hirable person. According to a recent Career Thought Leaders E-Summit, a well-executed cover letter serves as:
- An introduction of yourself as a suitable job candidate to the company.
- A marketing document to “sell” your skills and talents.
- A priority list of your best qualifications, accomplishments, and other items that cause you to rise above all other applicants for THAT position within THAT company.
- A persuasive call-to-action, priming the employer to reach out to you for an interview.