Why the Cover Letter is obsolete

Posted on March 18, 2014

Working in recruitment I get a lot of people emailing me everyday speculatively asking if we have any opportunities. Several CVs come in day after day. Additionally, we advertise on several different third party sites that sometimes ask for a cover letter when sending in an application. So many people ask me, “shall I send you a cover letter?” or when submitting a candidate to a client they normally ask, “do they need a cover letter to go with my application?” I always have the same answer, “don’t bother”


The reality is not many people look at a cover letter when reading a candidate application. Whilst cover letters should explain your personality and background in more depth and touch on what cannot be expressed on your CV, the majority of cover letters only reiterate what is written on your CV. I always say that if you have to explain your CV in any way, or if you have to clarify your CV further, then you don’t have a well written CV. A well-done CV should demonstrate your personality, background, skills and bring across you as a person in one or two pages.

With email, social media and technology, the 21st century has changed cover letters and how we introduce ourselves. Linkedin allows us to get a first glance of candidates prior to meeting them. The reality is for many employers they can get a better introduction to your personality and background using the internet and various social media sites. The travel and leisure industry is quite small, people know one another and very rarely rely on a cover letter to get to know a candidate.

Best advice is to skip the cover letter, unless you have a starry-amazing-nothing better-cover letter that blows employers away. Keep it brief in your covering email/message, leave them curious and wanting more. Have your social media pages up to date, accurate and filled in so that it accurately demonstrates your skills and personality.

Written by, Emily Ziolkowski
Twitter: @Emily_HWER


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