One of the most important things to getting the best candidates responding to your job openings is to make the process as easy as possible. Sometimes it’s just one click with a resume, and the application is complete. But should you require a cover letter for all applications? Jobs seekers may hate to write them, but there are benefits to you as a hiring manager. Here’s what you should consider when trying to decide.
Can a Cover Letter Give You Valuable Information?
When a candidate puts effort into a cover letter you can see how they provide more information to pique your interest. A masterful cover letter will share details that dive deeper than a resume, which can entice you to read more about their background and even pick up the phone or return the email.
Is it Necessary for Your Applicant Tracking Process?
When resumes are automatically imported into an applicant tracking system, a cover letter provides no additional benefits for the hiring process. If the cover letter will never be seen, it’s an additional hoop to jump through. You can streamline the process by leaving out the need for a cover letter in your online application process.
Are you Looking for Specific Soft Skills?
This also gives you a chance to see the kind of written communication skills the candidate brings to the table. Writing a cover letter showcases if someone knows how to format a formal email, avoid typos or other errors, and can communicate important information to the reader. Along with communication, you may also see them write about other soft skills such as teamwork or organization.
Are there other Assessments that Would Help Instead?
If you’re leaning toward no on a cover letter, you may want to consider other ways to assess someone’s skills. Assessment tests can be done just after the resume submission once they’ve been selected for the next stage of the application process. There are plenty of assessments available online or you could partner with a staffing agency.
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