Job Applications – Are Cover Letters Still Relevant?

In the age of online and mobile job applications, cover letters may feel a little redundant. However, think about it for a moment. Consider the recipient of the job applications and the potential high volume he/she is receiving; and then reconsider the benefit of your cover letter!

High volumes of CVs take time to screen through and shortlist for progression. Make it easy for the recipient to spot the relevant and great experience that you have for the job and maximise your chance of being short listed for interview.

Job applications are rarely sent via post except for posts in the public sector. For that reason a “letter” might be redundant however, the concept is not. What has replaced it is a cover email with the CV attached.

A cover email should be professional and contain the following elements:

  • Formal greeting such as “Dear Sir/Madam”, “Dear xxx” etc – not “Hey” or similar!
  • State the reason for your email in the first sentence and the position for which you are applying
  • In the next short paragraph outline briefly your relevance for this role. A maximum of three sentences is sufficient here
  • In the final paragraph, thank the recipient for taking the time to read your application and outline that you look forward to hearing from them.
  • Formal closing address such as “Yours faithfully”, “Yours sincerely” and type your name below that

Note: Be cautious about job boards that don’t allow for cover emails/letters as they can sometimes attach the letter and remove your CV which is not what you want to happen. Where the functionality doesn’t allow for a cover letter, then the objective / summary profile on your CV should suffice once it’s relevant – please see article entitled “What Makes an Effective CV” contained on this website.