Cover letters are subjects to numerous criticisms despite the fact that they usually come with the CV and are something that recruiters ask for. In a time where the HR profession is under serious changes, some don’t see them as being outdated but others find them redundant with no real value. However can we go without them if we want to get a job? It is not easy to find an answer considering the fact that recruiters have different opinions about them.
We have been told over and over that cover letters are now useless and outdated. Sounds like this statement is true because we have noticed a more rapid recruiting process with keywords that help spot the candidates and put the applications in different categories. This new reality makes it difficult to read documents that we find too long. One can to a lesser extend admit that the glorious days of cover letters are long gone now and with time they will disappear for good. This is basically what we grabbed from the recruiting specialist Dominique Perez « CV guide ,from the cover letter to the job interview ».
However, let’s not hurry to come to the conclusion that cover letters are about to die for good because we are far from having people stop using them. Thus, even though they are becoming shorter than what they used to be before or are now included in the email body, cover letters are still trendy. Even better, lots of recruiters, even those who don’t read CVs, all agree on the fact that not seeing cover letters is a bad thing for candidates. Therefore, it is preferable to express your motivation on you web CV if you answer the question « open to opportunities », even with few sentences on your page… or on top of your CV.
What do we do then, when we respond to a job anoucement that only ask for a CV( send your CV and expectations to…)? Again according to recruiting specialist Dominique Perez, if you are able to find the company that posted the job, you could still send them your CV with a couple of sentences that explain why you are applying for that specific position. Furthermore she added to not however say too much because after all it is your education and your experience that got them interested in you in the first place and not your plans. The recruiter probably wants to choose you for your skills first before knowing about your motivations.
Also, some candidates deliberately choose to only send their CV without a cover letter. There is two sides to that approach because it will be appreciated differently depending on the recruiters. It can be seen indeed on one side as a desire to be able to fulfil a career plan or a vocation to a certain extend. On the opposite side, it could also be seen as vanity, over self confidence or even close-mindedness. It is up to you to send your CV without a cover letter because it could be either negative or positive.
A CV without a cover letter can however be useful in recruiting forums, job fairs or in cases where you have a special recommandation. Either way, if you choose to do it, take it upon yourself to point out the the position you are applying for and give some indications on your career plan.