Cover letters can tip scale for hiring managers, applicants

There are many thoughts and apprehension regarding the topic of cover letters. Should I or shouldn’t I? Yes. No. Maybe so? I don’t know!

Let’s help clear the air.

I would like to share an experience I had as a corporate recruiter, when a software engineering candidate came to me with relevant education but not quite enough experience. The candidate chose to supplement their application with a genuine and authentic cover letter.

They wrote about their personal experience as it related to the hiring team’s projects and mission. I was able to further tell the candidate’s story to the hiring manager who was willing to consider the applicant and application. After a series of interviews and due diligence, the candidate was hired!

This may be an unusual situation, but it illustrates the power of teamwork from everyone involved; an original and honest candidate, an open-minded hiring manager, and a recruiter who listens to their instincts.

My recommendation to candidates facing the cover letter conundrum is to use your own judgement whether to submit one or not. If you decide to provide one, be your genuine, true self. If a cover letter does not feel necessary, use the objective or introduction section of your resume to convey genuine interest. Draw anecdotes that connect relatable personal experience to the role under consideration.

As for hiring managers, I think a candidate who is real and expresses genuine interest deserves to be heard. If you decide to hire after all the due diligence, they could be your highly motivated valuable contributors and long-lasting employees.

Effective recruiting requires authentic collaboration, communication, and willingness to listen across the hiring team. It also takes intuition. When we open our minds, listen fully, and collaborate, we can find great people in unexpected places. This is my two cents.

Aruna Mandulapalli is a recruiter and the Founder of Hire Simplified, which takes a data-driven approach to sourcing and delivering top talent in high-demand industries such as Climate, Technology, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Healthcare, and Utilities. To learn more, visit the Hire Simplified website.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

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