What happened to the art of writing a cover letter?
A few weeks ago, I posted a job for a staff writer and it was amazing how many resumes came in without a cover letter? Did I mention this is a writing position?!
If the best writer in the tri-state area didn’t send a cover letter, it immediately went into the “no” pile. Why? In my opinion, cover letters help candidates stand out among a sea of writers with all too similar qualifications. Bachelor’s degree in writing, check. Editor of your school paper, check. Proficient in Microsoft Office and WordPress, (zzz….) check.
Cover letters are literally a different story. They prove to me that you can write and show how you organize your thoughts and tell your story. And here’s a piece of advice, if you are applying for a staff writer position and I specifically state that I want a cover letter, not writing one is just plain lazy.
I did a little googling on this subject and one article said that only 15% of hiring managers read the cover letter. If this is true, count me as a proud member of the minority. I read all cover letters. They give me insight into who you are as a person and a professional.
Upon further research, I found that most career advice articles tell job candidates to write a cover letter because it’s an opportunity to stand out in a pile of applicants and show that you would be a great hire. Even if the hiring manager doesn’t ask for one, sending a cover letter shows you are a motivated candidate who will go the extra mile.
And that’s what I’m looking for. A little motivation. A little creativity. A little extra effort. Is that too much to ask?