Tag Archives: getting the interview

Do Employers Read Cover Letters?

The competitive world today makes many of us wonder, “Do employers really read cover letters?” The harsh reality is that when there is a public job advertisement, you’re most likely not the only applicant. Companies are bombarded and overwhelmed with resumes and cover letters. Unfortunately, many of them simply do not have the time to go through every single cover letter. So what is the importance of cover letters and why do some companies ask for them? Whether or not they actually read our cover letters isn’t the real issue. If you are applying a job that you are serious about, why risk your chance of not getting an interview simply because you didn’t write a cover letter or spent time to write an effective one?

In fact, many companies use cover letters as a way to filter out the candidates to find the most devoted ones who are serious about the position. I personally know a few people who actually did not apply to certain positions because the companies were asking for cover letters and they were too lazy to write them. But this does not mean that you should have a poorly written cover letter just so that you have one to send in. There’s no guarantee that your cover letter will get read but you should always assume that it does, and thus, a poorly written cover letter can actually hurt you.

There are many advantages to having an effective cover letter. If you are judged as a strong candidate based on your resume, a well-written cover letter can make the difference in helping you get the interview as opposed to other strong candidates with a poorly written cover letter.

Cover letters are also read more often when you appear to be a good match for a certain position. For example, companies may quickly look over your resume to get a general overview and if they see that you might be the person that they are looking for, that’s when they will read your cover letter. This is another reason why having a strong resume really helps. Of course, this isn’t always the case. If you apply to a journalist position, your cover letter and any writing samples you send will probably get read.

Instead of wasting time wondering if employers actually read cover letters, figure out how to get employers to read your cover letter!

4 Reasons Why Cover Letters Are Important

There are some people who aren’t aware of the significance of cover letters, thus in this article, I will offer 4 reasons why cover letters are important.

There is no second chance to make a first impression! Cover letters are documents of introduction and are often the first impression you will make on the company. To avoid making it your last, you should take advantage of this opportunity and write an effective cover letter to make a good, lasting first impression.

Some people believe that cover letters are redundant and that employers don’t actually read them. While this may sometimes be the case, due to the competitive world of recruitment, it is highly recommended to have a powerful cover letter. Although there is no way to know in advance whether an employer will read your cover letter, you have to assume that having a cover letter matters, especially because the employers who do read them usually place a great emphasis and care a lot about them. However, whether or not they actually read our cover letters should not be our real concern. If you are serious about a specific job position, why risk your chance of not getting an interview simply because you didn’t write a cover letter or spent time writing an effective one? Here are 4 other reasons why sending an effective cover letter is crucial:

1)      Clarity – A resume has its limits and can only tell an employer so much about yourself. A cover letter explains things and answers questions that resumes cannot. For example, if you had a long gap in your employment history or changed your career, having a cover letter can explain these events in a positive way. Otherwise, without a cover letter, it is up to the employers to make assumptions.

2)      Emphasis – Cover letters allow you to direct the reader to focus on what really matters. Unlike a resume, which is a summary of your entire career, a cover letter is limited to the key areas you want to highlight. For example, you can place more emphasis on certain skills and different points in your career. If you are a good writer, this is a great opportunity to show off your strong writing skills!

3)      Personal Touch – Unlike resumes, cover letters add a personal touch because they are customized and tailored to the specific position that you are applying for. With a cover letter, you can show that you have done your research about your prospective employer’s organization or industry. You can explain why you want to work for the company and why they should hire you. Not only does customizing your cover letter add a personal touch, but you also make the employers feel more important. Employers respond better when you show that took the time to understand the company’s needs and that you aren’t sending the same cover letter to every company.

4)      Getting the Interview – When there is a close match between two candidates, the cover letter may be a deciding factor. Having an effective cover letter can really make a difference in helping you get an interview as opposed to having your resume thrown away.

Now that you know 4 reasons why cover letters are important, take the submission of your cover letter seriously!