COVER LETTERS ARE DEAD? BEHAVIOUR ON MOVEMEON SUGGESTS OTHERWISE

COVER LETTERS ARE DEAD? BEHAVIOUR ON MOVEMEON SUGGESTS OTHERWISE

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Summary

A movemeon member who applies for a role with cover letter as well as a CV is x2 as likely to be invited to interview as an applicant submitting a CV only. This is because going to the extra effort of submitting a tailored cover letter signals to the recruiter the candidate’s real interest in the role & their drive.

The death of the cover letter

It is often said that a cover letter is a worthless addition to an application that is rarely considered. I recently read an article reporting that Jobvite, a recruiting software provider, surveyed 1,400 recruiters and nearly two-thirds said cover letters are not an important factor when they review applications. The conclusion from this was that cover letters were dead and that candidates should invest in embedding some elements of the cover letter within their CV to differentiate themselves. We looked to test this using over 9,000 data points from 8,500 applications and found quite the opposite!

Candidates twice as likely to be interviewed with cover letter

We found that a candidate who applied with a cover letter alongside their CV was nearly twice as likely to make it to interview as someone who didn’t. The implication of this is simple: if someone has put effort into their cover letter, they’ve given thought about how their experiences match your requirements and will, therefore, have made a considerably more relevant application as a result.

Why cover letters are a great differentiator

So then, is the cover letter quickly becoming a dinosaur when it comes to hiring, as claims Jobvite chief people officer Rachel Bitte? We can only hope not, as it is a fantastic sign to a savvy recruiter that a candidate is willing to go to extra lengths to stand out. Given that most candidates are well aware that hiring managers often initially skim read CVs, cover letter submissions are all the more telling of their eagerness to be considered for a position they consider themselves to be a great fit for.

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