Is the cover letter dead? Do you really need to submit a one?
There is no short answer. It really depends on the hiring manager’s preference. Only 26% of recruiters consider the cover letter important in their hiring decision, while about 47% of job seekers do not submit them with their resumes.
When you should submit a cover letter
You may dread writing it, but there are a few times when you should submit one. If the job description asks for one or if one is requested by the hiring manager or recruiter. It’s also a good idea to submit one if someone referred you. Include the person’s name to help make that connection with the hiring manager.
When to skip the cover letter
The easy answer is when a job posting specifically asks you not to send one. This could be a test to your ability to follow directions, or maybe they don’t want to read it. Furthermore, there are times you may be applying online and there is no place to submit one, then it is okay not to have one.
If one is required, you should include it, but if it is not requested and you are truly not comfortable writing a cover letter, then no cover letter is better than a poorly written letter.
Should you write a cover letter?
Yes (unless specifically asked not to). Whether you believe in it or not, it is a good tool to use to tell your story. It should include information that you might not normally put in your resume, such as if you had some gaps in your work history or if you’re willing to relocate. It’s also a good place to put the name of a referral or mutual contact.
The letter helps to set you apart from others. It’s a selling tool. You’re trying to sell your skills and experience to the hiring team and this document is a great way to expand upon your resume. Point out how your skills could benefit the company and begin to build a rapport with the reader. Don’t be afraid to let your (professional) personality shine throughout the letter. Use it as a chance to introduce yourself and your skills. Need some help writing yours? Follow these 5 tips.
Bottom line, don’t skip the cover letter.
To get more tips and resources, check out the Ag News and Tools page at AgHires.com!