Job Search Letters

Why cover letters still matter

The concept of whether cover letters are dying or just plain unnecessary has been the subject of great debate among hiring, recruitment, and career industry professionals for the last decade or two. According to a 2017 job seeker nation study by Jobvite, only 26% of recruiters consider cover letters important when hiring a candidate. A separate study reported that 56% of employers preferred that candidates include a cover letter with their application. Finally, a 2015 CareerBuilder survey found that 49% of employers pay more attention to job applicants who include a cover letter with their resume.

To write or not to write a cover letter …

Here’s the key takeaway. The majority of recruiters may not pay attention to your cover letter. However, many hiring decision makers WILL. These people are more likely to read your letter than anyone else involved in the hiring decision. Now, the likelihood will vary among companies but the reality is that you have no way of knowing whether or not your letter is going to be seen by a person who does or does not read cover letters.

This is why it is in your best interest every time to send a cover letter unless you come across a job advertisement that specifically asks you not to send one (although those instances are relatively rare in our experience).

Why you need a cover letter

We are not simply suggesting that you must have a cover letter because we make a nice living writing cover letters. A well-written cover letter serves to introduce your resume to the reader and share why you are the #1 solution to their problems.

Many of our clients find writing a cover letter is more challenging than the resume.

Most cover letters suffer because they lack focus, are too long, and fail to highlight the relevant skills, value, and other qualifications that you bring to the table. However, the most common mistake that we see in reviewing hundreds of cover letters is that they are generic and present our clients as average candidates. You are not average. If you were, you would not be here.

There are 5 key reasons why you must include a cover letter:

  • You provide insight into your personality and illustrate your ability to communicate. Personality has become so important that many companies are now incorporating personality assessments into their hiring process. Companies also want to hire candidates who communicate well and have something to share in a way that a resume does not allow.
  • You can specifically target the role or company you’re applying to. This is your opportunity to customize your cover letter to the company’s needs and how your talents can contribute to the business. This clarity also makes it easy for the reader to understand why you’re writing in the first place by demonstrating that you meet their needs as well as the company’s.
  • You can spotlight relevant achievements from your current or previous roles. By making reference to a few relevant accomplishments from your resume, you entice the reader to actually review your resume, and justify why they should invite you for an interview. Generic qualifications that could apply to anyone do nothing to position you as a leading candidate.
  • You can share information about your special circumstances. Are you relocating to a new state (or country), transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce, or re-entering the workforce after a hiatus? Typically, this information is not included in your resume so your cover letter becomes the tool for sharing relevant details so that you set yourself up for success.
  • It’s just good manners! Good manners have no expiration date. Not sending a professionally, well-written letter with your resume makes you look lazy, unprofessional, and uninterested in the position. Remember, people make their first impressions within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. Your resume gets even less time, an average of 4-6 seconds. Make it count!

A strong cover letter that gets read must accomplish 3 things:

  • Make a connection with the reader.
  • Address the employer’s specific needs and offer solutions to their problems.
  • Move the reader to take action … calling you for an interview! 

The more specific you can be in your cover letter, the stronger it will be.

How do we achieve this:

Scientech Resumes take a practical, no-nonsense approach to writing powerful correspondence job letters and post-interview thank you letters that actually get read. We focus on briefly communicating your reason for writing and why you’re interested in the role. The meat of the letter explains why you are suited for the role and introduces key points of relevance, such as education, experience, and other qualifications backed up with supporting evidence to justify why you should be invited for an interview. Last but not least, we conclude the letter with a call to action. This element is the key factor to cementing that first impression in the mind of the reader and determining whether or not you are invited for an interview … all in the space of 3-4 paragraphs.

The Modern Cover Letter
Scientech Resumes takes a modernized approach to writing cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, value proposition letters, referral letters, and networking power letters. We craft powerful job search letters that are keyword rich, direct and to the point, easily customizable for each client, and designed to fit into the body of an email message with your resume as the attachment. If you require a more traditional cover letter with a letterhead, let us know. We can craft multiple versions and structures of a letter for an additional investment.

For more information on cover letters, please consult our FAQs or contact Kate directly at 971.770.1460 or kate@scientechresumes.com.

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