Cover Letter Not a Dinosaur, Yet

SC&C cover letters aren't a dinosaurIn the old days you could write a generic résumé that covered all the major points, run down to the local Kinkos for 50 copies, and then just stick in a personalized cover letter for every company you apply to before mailing it. Not only has that job-hunting technique completely vanished, but the cover letter itself is headed in the same direction as the passenger pigeon, the dinosaurs, and the dodo bird.

ATS Being Used by Nearly All Companies

Cover letters are out and ATS is in. ATS is Applicant Tracking Software, which is used by all the large- and medium-sized businesses. A surprising (and increasing) number of small companies are now leasing the use of large companies’ ATS so the larger company can offset its costs while the smaller company gets access to a very expensive software. Everybody wins—except you.

Now I know you’re an intelligent person and that you use a tailored résumé. In a world where 75% of cover letters are not read, because of ATS software, you’re asking yourself if it is still necessary. Yes, it is.

3 Reasons for a Cover Letter

Ideally the cover letter accomplishes three things:

  1. It allows you to introduce yourself,
  2. Indicate that you have an interest in the job, and
  3. Impress the reader sufficiently that you get invited for an interview.

While it’s true that humans seldom look at cover letters anymore (in the first stage), they do tend to come to light once the ATS is through with the résumés. The ATS may have come up with 100 or more candidates. Generally the results come up weighted in batches that have 100%, 95%, and 90% of the keywords. That is when a human being comes into the mix and looks for ways to differentiate them. And that is why you are going to write a nice cover letter.

Dear Mr. Luthor:

I was delighted to find your job posting for LexCorp on MONSTER.COM because I have been an admirer of your companys mission for a long time. I, too, am strongly opposed to an alien like Superman running around and imposing his morality on our planet.

     Simply eliminating him, however, could be a public relations nightmare. My decades of PR experience could serve you very well in this capacity.

As you well know, it was my actions that turned the publicity table on the Arrow in Starling City, allowing us to finally drive him out of the vigilante business. I admit he wasnt superpoweredlike your Superman, but as you are certainly aware, human initiative and intelligence should be able to thwart any single being.

     Of course, LexCorp is facing challenges due to some backwards progress against this alien threat, but I am confident that I can swing public opinion back to our side. Once people are aware that Superman is attempting to form an alliance of Vigilantes, such as the criminal Batman of Gotham City, and the Flash from Central City, it should become apparent that they are not interested in humanity, but rather in consolidating their own power so they can take over our world.

     I would be honored if you would consider me for inclusion in your wonderful organization. Your goal to protect our world from the usurpers is the most selfless, respectable thing I have ever encountered.


     Mr. Mxyzptlk

SC&C stand out from other applicants with a cover letterCover Letter Helps You Stand Out

Ultimately it’s wrong to believe that cover letters are passé. If only a few are actually read, that is still a significant advantage over someone who does not use a cover letter at all.

If you take the time to craft a letter that addresses the needs of the company, matching it up with your skills in a clear way that doesn’t leave them guessing, it will make a difference. Couldn’t you use 25% more invitations to interview?

Yes, you could!

If you don’t have a cover letter, create one. If you do have a cover letter, look it over and see if it could use a little punching-up. Don’t send your résumé in naked—give it a cover.

Watch for the POWERFUL new book, Leveraging LinkedIn For Job Search Success 2015. This book contains all the secrets you need to be found by companies and recruiters on LinkedIn and have them quickly “get” your value to their company or client. Release date:  July 15, 2015. Available on Amazon, Kindle, and many other outlets.

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