Using cover letters for job applications is becoming a thing of the past as technologies and job search methods are changing. According to an article about this topic by CNBC, forty-seven percent of applicants don’t use cover letters and only 26 percent of recruiters currently believe that they are important. Below, we discuss why using cover letters is becoming less relevant and what is taking their place.
The Importance of a Job Candidate’s Online Presence
What is causing the decline in cover letter usage? One of the reasons is that recruiters no longer need them as much as they did in the past to understand an applicant. Instead, most hiring managers will check the online presence of a candidate, including their social media profiles, online portfolios, and websites.
These methods of checking the applicant can also help hiring managers to see the true personality of a candidate before meeting with them. Videos can be especially useful for this. A formal cover letter, on the other hand, usually does not convey the personality of a candidate.
When searching for a job, having a good online presence is no longer just a choice, but a must. According to an article by Business News Daily, “About half of employers – 47 percent – said they wouldn’t call a person for an interview if they can’t find them online. More than a quarter of employers say it’s because they like to gather more information before calling a candidate, and 20 percent say it’s because they expect candidates to have an online presence.”
LinkedIn is the primary social media network that recruiters look for when evaluating a job candidate, so it is especially important to make a good impression on this platform.
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Although using cover letters is less popular than it once was, if it is required for a job application, then a candidate should definitely submit it to meet the requirements and to increase their chances of getting the job.
What is Replacing the Use of Cover Letters?
Rather than including cover letters in their applications, job applicants are using different methods to present themselves to hiring managers. One way is by doing creative things to stand out from the competition, such as creating unique presentations.
Another very effective method is to get referrals. According to the CNBC article on cover letters, “Almost 35 percent of job seekers applied to their current or most recent position via referral — especially millennials. Luckily, Jobvite data shows that referred applicants are five times more likely than average to be hired, and 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board.”
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