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. ?).

If you're seeking mid-level talent looking to advance their
careers or aspiring to become a manager, please visit the website