I wanted to start a conversation around cover lett...
# jobs
n
I wanted to start a conversation around cover letters. A trusted advisor encouraged me to skip them completely unless required. In my job search so far, I have been including them for applications where I don't have a referral, as an opportunity to point out how the experience on my resume relates to the requirements of the role. I do also tailor my resume per-role, as much as possible, but this process is tedious (also curious how folks manage N versions of a resume - I have 2 main flavors, and sometimes further specialize it, but it's tedious). Notably, I have a 0% hit rate on every one of these applications (without a referral), so my cover letter strategy looks pretty weak 😂 . I'm considering taking the advice and just skipping it and making absolutely sure my resume matches the job description as best as possible. Looking forward to hearing thoughts, especially from folks who have been in the hiring manager role in the past (I don't have that experience).
g
I used to write cover letters but they don't seem to help in passing the ATS filters most recruiters use. I do not think they matter. The recruiter will have a screening call anyway (again, if you pass the ATS filters) where you can talk about what you'd have written in the cover letter. My advice is to not waste time with them. When I was hiring, recruiters never forwarded any cover letters and I never missed them.
s
I have a generic resume with all the keywords necessary to help an AI or recruiter which I distribute to jobs I'm interested in. No cover letter necessary. Firms don't care about your personal journey unless they have too much time on their hands. Talk about it during the initial call with HR if they ask about it. My resume reads like a resume and cover letter. No cover letter necessary.
n
Yeah I'm trying to condense what I had been putting in these into the
Summary
at the top of my resume. And just condense it way down, and make sure I hit the keywords. My main thing is I'm not even getting those HR calls with my current application strategy.
g
Unfortunately there is a lot going on at the moment (layoffs, fake job positions, too many applicants, etc). Your best bet might be to cold email the hiring manager or know someone at the company. I've applied at my dream company many times over a decade and never heard anything. Then someone I know started working there, he referred me internally and I got a screening call on the next day. It's terrible that it has to be this way though. Not the above company but, for example, if I apply to Cannonical, I'll get a rejection email in minutes saying they reviewed my resume and I'm not a fit (even though I'm quite possibly overqualified for the position).. so it's all automated these days. It's the sad reality.
n
Canonical claims to have a human review every application 😂. I got a form rejection in 9 hours, 17 minutes (but I was actually underqualified for the job in question, I need to look into their openings more). To be fair to them, that time to at least tell me affirmatively no is appreciated. I have applications dating back months without any acknowledgement (other than the initial, automated, "thank you for applying" email)
know someone at the company
Absolutely, this it the way, and I am getting traction in the market through referrals and by responding to recruiters/HMs who contact me. But these 2 categories encompass 100% of my recent interview activity. So I'm still trying to refine my front-door application strategy. My resume could be trash, or I'm aiming too high, or I'm just not doing enough volume (or all 3 of course)
d
I've used the 2/3 flavours of resume approach to target different types of role, but then use an AI to suggest changes by feeding it both the job description and resume. The jury is still out on whether this is an effective approach, but I'm getting about a 10% response rate, which seems reasonable. I only supply a cover letter if requested - and it's written by AI and then reviewed and edited by hand.
n
10% I think is a good response rate
j
way above average
n
Yeah, I would feel good about that.
d
There's reasons to feel good (responses) and reasons not to (it's artificial). All it proves is that the AI knows how to adjust a resume to pass the automated scans. My rate of getting past screen calls drops to about 1.5%, so maybe all I'm achieving is getting to spend more time in screening calls 😂
n
That's just practice
j
As a recruiter in this space, my advice is drop the cover. If you feel your experience on your resume needs additional explanation, unfortunately it means the resume isn't right (or at least isn't highlighting the right parts) and will likely be rejected anyway. In my time in this industry, I haven't ever had a cover change my mind if a CV doesn't fit. The sad state of affairs is with the thousands of applications recruiters have to get through, is that you have a matter of seconds to catch their attention, and reading a lengthy cover won't do that.
n
Thanks James! I'm getting the message loud and clear now :)
c
i think this might help, for pushing the applications

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXudLOIWQ_I