OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals, released a survey on Tuesday in which 91 percent of polled executive recruitments who said that cover letters are valuable when evaluating candidates for a job. The results are consistent to that of a similar survey conducted in 2008. The latest survey polled over 1,000 senior managers at firms with staff strength of 20 or more.
Responses to "When evaluating prospective job candidates, how valuable is the cover letter that accompanies the resume?"
Responses to "When you receive a resume electronically from a job candidate, how common is it for that resume to be accompanied by a letter of introduction or cover letter?"
Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, believes that despite the growth in online recruitment, the value of a cover should not be underestimated as it is the first opportunity one gets to make a positive impression on a hiring manager. He also believes that it provides an opportunity for candidates to stand out as well as further expatiate on things that can’t be accommodated in a resume.
With that in mind, OfficeTeam has come up with five tips for writing and submitting cover letters:
1. Follow directions. Before sending the cover letter with the resume, it is important to read the job posting carefully. Specific instructions usually listed by the employers as what they want from candidates who are, such as adding the job requisition number in the subject line of the email or if the cover letter and resume should be submitted in a particular file format.
2. Start smart. Do not address the letter to "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam.", instead use the hiring contact’s name. Call the company to ask for the contact’s name if you don't know it.
3. Create a hook. Give the recruiter a reason to continue reading by starting off wih a strong introduction. Specify which position you're interested in and if someone referred you, then state how you can help the company meet its business objectives.
4. Keep it short and to the point. Avoid putting down topics that do not relate to the position and limit the cover letter to two or three brief paragraphs.
5. Get it right. Before submitting, confirm the required documents are included. Also have them proofread by a close family or friend for typos.
You can also have a look at our post on creating the perfect healthcare cover letter for more tips.