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Is The Cover Letter Dead

Is The Cover Letter Dead

In the age of social media and digital job hunting, some may wonder if the cover letter is a job hunting tool from a generation of the past. With so much information available about us from professional networking profiles to polished video resumes, considering whether a cover letter is an outdated tool is a valid concern. The cover letter has definitely transformed, but it is not dead.

This is why.


The cover letter no longer exists in paper form for the most part. As resumes are constructed using digital platforms vs cardstock representations, a cover letter in some format is still requested on many platforms. The format is generally shorter and more to the point. However, a general introduction is still helpful and in some cases required.


Even when a platform gives you the option to leave the summary section blank, including a cover could very well set you apart. Take every opportunity to display a personal touch in a heavily digital world of job hunting by communicating through the cover letter or profile summary in a way that makes a connection with the HR professional screening your application on the other side.


If possible, try to address your letter directly to a specific person. Those details still matter. Talk about where you discovered the job posting. This helps HR professionals understand which avenues are most effective for their position marketing. Briefly describe why you are well suited for the position. You don’t want to provide your life history in detail, but succinctly make the case for your suitability using a cover letter.


Knowing your audience and the company culture can also help you craft an initial statement that shows you can seamlessly integrate into the culture. Is the company a young, vibrant environment that would better appreciate an outgoing and creative tone? Or are you seeking employment at a more traditional, buttoned-down company that values a less familiar, more formal communication style. Get to know the company via social media and their online presence to craft a letter that will best show you can relate.


Today, a cover letter may take the form of a short introductory video. This tools can help you stand out from the competition, provide a personal connection that won’t come through via text, and help HR professionals get to know you instantly. 


The video format is clever, but should also be done by someone who is familiar with basic lighting, editing, and composition elements. A poorly produced video will not achieve the desired results. You want to project a appearance of professionalism in style and substance and a well done video can help convey that message.


So no. The cover letter is far from dead. While a cover letter may exist in multiple formats or be called by various names, the concept of making an introduction with a potential interviewer and helping them create a personal connection beyond a scripted resume is still very much essential. Whatever form you choose, make sure that your cover letter describes you in a manner that a potential employer can appreciate the value you can add to the company or position.