Are Cover Letters passé?

Are Cover Letters passé?

Time and again we hear that cover letters have no relevance and that they are often ignored by recruiters. Well, we disagree and believe that it depends completely on what’s IN your cover letter. So yes, generically written cover letters are passé but a well-crafted cover letter can swing your chances in a big way.

Many a times candidates apply to roles which may not be a good overall fitment to the job specifications, but they feel that they do have something that could make a difference. So how do you ensure the hiring manager/recruiter does not screen out your CV?

Think of a cover letter as your Elevator Pitch — no one has time to go over generic gyaan or a reiterated CV. It must be a few crisp sentences — the aim is to be able to capture the interest of the recruiters relevant to the role, want them to go through your CV again and initiate that first leg of communication with you.

Here are few tips to get you closer to that dream job by acing your cover letter:

1. First things first — Read the JD very well so that you are not trying to showcase something here that is not even relevant to the job in the first place.

2. If you are going to be an “out of the box” candidate who does not really tick all the criteria of the client then highlight a compelling reason in your Cover Letter for them to consider you.

3. Don’t repeat what is already in your CV — your cover letter is personal, so if you want them to hire you for your attitude versus skills then write something that can catch their attention and is convincing. But don’t just use generic adjectives.

4. Give examples that are in line with the ask — If the role requires rural sales exposure, be specific in mentioning why you think you would be able to do it, even though you may have not done it in your jobs before. For example, you may have done voluntary work during school/college where you travelled across rural India for a reasonable amount of time – this works, however, what does not is talking about global experience which is perhaps 10% of the role and rest 90% is about rural exposure.

5. Short Stints — Nobody wants to shortlist profiles which have multiple stints of short durations, so if your CV comes across as a job hopper but you have specific reasons which were outside your control then this is your chance to mention them and elude initial rejects.

6. Lastly, do not forget to keep it short, crisp and relevant!

Remember, just the fact that not everyone includes cover letters with their resume is reason enough to write one. But instead of just hitting the “Apply” button at once, do a little bit of research and then attach a relevant cover letter, so that you are one step closer to the interview table (or zoom room as we have it now. ?).

Why you may not be finding your next job?

Why you may not be finding your next job

In the current market scenario, we often see candidates post on Linkedin saying they were laid off and after trying for months they still haven’t found a good job.

Sometimes these posts go almost viral with lots of comments and reposts/shares and yet we discover the person hasn’t still found anything suitable.

That sounds strange as Linkedin is the right forum so why are people still not able to find the right role despite those posts?

As a Search firm, we interacted with many such candidates across levels/industries and tried to understand the reasons. Here’s our take on the reasons that have contributed to this, especially in the current situation:

  • 1. Poorly written CVs— Very little focus on building a CV, spelling & careless mistakes.
  • 2. Incomplete and Half-baked Linkedin Profile— When you are approaching someone on Linkedin for a role a poorly crafted incomplete profile will end in rejection.
  • 3. Job Hopping/ Breaks with no reasons— It’s perfectly fine to change jobs and take breaks but one may get sceptic when the pattern is recurring. Always mention the reason behind the short stints and make sure these are genuine.
  • 4. No real accomplishments to talk about— Everyone looks for result-oriented professionals.
  • 5. Unrealistic Salary Expectations— You may think 40% increase is a standard since your colleague got it. But that doesn’t make it a benchmark. Understand what you bring to the table and the role before asking for it.
  • 6. Steep Salary Hike in Last Role— Your last job got you a 50% hike on your earlier salary but lasted only a few months. Well unfortunately in the current market, this could mean you remain unemployed for a long time. So, consider your real market value versus what you got from one company which perhaps needed your skills only for a few months to accomplish a project.
  • 7. Not knowing your strengths— Many times candidates have a misplaced sense of their strengths and what could be an area of development is seen as a strength.

So if you are facing this situation do evaluate and see what you could change.

And watch out for our next post on what you could do.