Cover Letters, Do I Really Need to Bother?

It’s official, fewer and fewer firms require you to submit a cover letter in the campus application process.

The focus has begun to shift towards gamified assessments and the optionality to submit a cover letter should you wish. We would placeholder these comments by noting this recent shift in cover letter necessity from capus employers is confined to only that section of the market.

Cover letters are still common practice and an absolute prerequisite to most job applications in your career.

The recent shift in most Big 4 and large corporates towards not accepting cover letters anymore is actually pretty easy to understand. It’s a combination of two very powerful forces. Volume and time.

Recent years have seen record numbers of applications for campus positions, reading thousands of cover letters is simply not an efficient use of time for most graduate recruiters. Technology is now used to substitute this process. However don’t let this market condition fool you, if you are given the option to submit a cover letter, you always should. Here's why:

Free marketing

Should you be successful in moving through the many phases of the application process, your cover letter will be read in conjunction with your resume. If you have put forward a best practice resume, which you can find on our Acedit guides here [LINK]. Your cover letter will sell yourself perfectly into a position, if written property. You can use our Acedit guides for more information of the correct way to structure this document to give yourself the best chance of success.

Bridge the Gap

Your cover letter can be used to ‘cover’ the opportunity gap which you may have missed in your resume. You won’t always have exactly what employers are looking for, but if your CV is written well that won’t usually matter. So now is the change to use the cover letter to backfill those issues. Your cover letter can succinctly explain why you have exactly what they are looking for, or the hungry desire to hone those skills if you're on the way. The bridge between the CV and a cover letter is used to intimately communicate this desire to the recruiter.

Secret Weapon

The hardest skill to master in the first few years of your professional life will not be how well you use excel or how brilliant your powerpoint presentations are. It’s the ability to write and write properly. Putting together a killer cover letter signals to the reader that you have excellent writing skills, which are a powerful asset in your graduate toolkit. The ability to persuade readers and succinctly convey a point of view is a massively underestimated skill.

Whilst providing a cover letter for a campus hire, is starting to phase out in the application process. The positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to providing one.

If given the option we would always recommend one be submitted. So get drafting! Remember you can always submit your cover letter for review through Aced It!