Without a doubt, resumes remain critical to the recruitment process, especially for employers who rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automate their initial candidate screening efforts. But what about cover letters?
Online recruiting platforms and job boards have made applying for jobs as simple as the click of a button. This convenience makes it easy for job seekers to forgo sending a cover letter – much less customizing one for a specific role.
For job candidates asking, “Should I submit a cover letter?” the answer, in short, is yes.
We surveyed 603 hiring professionals from companies across 56 industries to find out whether cover letters still bring value to their recruitment processes. While 65.3% of respondents agreed that cover letters are important, 65.3% said they’d prefer to use pre-screening questions over a cover letter to learn more about a candidate.
In addition, 77.3% of employers want candidates to customize their cover letters for the specific position, while 30.4% said they expect to receive a cover letter even if their job posting says it is optional.
Our advice to candidates? Create and submit a customized cover letter with each application you submit. You have one chance to impress an employer, and your cover letter could very well make or break your ability to land an interview.
For more survey results, check out the infographic below.