While there are many mixed opinions about the cover letter from both recruiters and job seekers from claims that it's no longer relevant to others convinced that it is an important tool for recruiters when evaluating candidates, and yet others argue that it depends on the situation.
So what are the pros to providing a cover letter?
A well-known rule in sales is that you MUST make it easy for the buyer to buy; do as much of their work for them as possible and you have done your job. If you think in those terms, then that is what a cover letter should do. When you submit a cover letter to a recruiter at a staffing agency or any other company for that matter, assuming your have put some effort into customizing your letter, you make it easy for them to understand why you’re the right candidate.
If you are an experienced consultant in the IT space, your resume is probably quite long, listing many different projects and roles over a number of years. A recruiter looks at hundreds of resumes every day, scanning them to find key skills. To read through a detailed resume would take added time from an already busy schedule so why not catch their interests with the relevant skills and experience in your cover letter? Convince them that they need to take the time to read your resume!
There is an obvious parallel between a cover letter from contractor and the information submitted to a client. A cover letter definitely helps with the client submission. How? When a recruiter at a staffing agency submits a contractor’s resume to a client for review, a brief summary about the contractor explaining why they’re the best person for the role is included. If you submitted a cover letter with your application, this is the first place that a recruiter will look to develop the summary. In providing the cover letter, you are ensuring that all of the relevant skills are highlighted instead of hoping that a recruiter will figure it out.
Bring your application to the top of the pile by including a cover letter!
Do you include a cover letter with every application? Has this helped you secure work?