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WWB offers bespoke recruitment solutions for
professionals from Accountancy, Finance,
Banking, Insurance and Human Resources
for local, national and international
clients and candidates.

With a local presence and a global reach, we
have successfully been servicing the needs
of clients and candidates from all over the
world since 2001.

Are Cover Letters Dead? Possibly, But It’s Not All Bad News


According to a recent article published by the folks at Forbes, cover letters are dead…gone…toast. Which will of course come as rather unfortunate news to those who may have recently spent days or even weeks perfecting their cover letters, but in reality it isn’t all doom and gloom.

The simple fact of the matter is that more hiring managers and recruiters than ever before are openly admitting that they don’t read even a single word of the cover letters they receive. Which is entirely understandable, given the way in which the overwhelming majority of cover letters say nothing more than “here is my CV, I want to apply to your job and here’s why you should hire me” – a largely pointless introduction.

The death of the cover letter represents just one element in a rather comprehensive and unprecedented shift in the way in which the professional recruitment process is handled these days. So many trends have gone out of the window, cleaning up after a new approach to recruitment which involves working ‘smartly’ to find and secure the ideal candidates.

For example, it is comparatively rare these days to find top hirers beginning job postings with lines such as “Seeking an individual with at least 15 years of experience in marketing.” The reason being that it has become blatantly obvious that both experience and education alike do not necessarily give the employer any kind of accurate indication as to what the candidate in question will and will not bring to the role.

Instead, we are seeing an era in which vacancies are being more routinely listed with lines like “Looking for a talented, resourceful, dynamic and outgoing individual to work on XXXXX and bring XXXXX to the company”. No mention of education, no mention of experience. The quintessentially ideal person for the post may have absolutely no relevant experience or educational background, but could be leaps and bounds ahead of absolutely anyone else applying for the position.

In addition to this, hiring managers are also increasingly looking to their own social, domestic and professional circles in order to find the best new hires. Headhunting these days tends to be focused primarily or even exclusively on friends, family members, followers and fans, along with the friends, family members, followers and fans of such individuals. Cultivating a talent community and working with the human resources that are already readily available to you represents a much cheaper, faster and more effective way of recruiting than casting an enormous net as far and wide as possible.

Roughly translated, enhanced networking efforts are of extraordinary importance these days for the active job seeker.

Generally speaking, the recruitment process for so many businesses is starting to be approached in exactly the same way as any other sales and marketing process. Rather than simply waiting for the punters to flood in, it’s becoming more a case of building an image and reputation for the kind of company culture that’s absolutely irresistible prospect for the most outstanding candidates out there.

From the perspective of the job seeker, getting a foot in the door means being able to comprehensively demonstrate how you yourself can and should become an active part of the company’s culture – hence why networking has become a more powerful recruitment tool than the humble cover letter ever was.


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