If you had a chance to catch our recent blog Why You Need a Cover Letter (And What You Can Do to Make Them Read It) you’re probably scratching your head right about now. As if all of the contradicting career advice that exists in the world wasn’t enough! But much like every person or job, every potential employment situation is different.
As we fully submerge into the digital age, many practices that were once common are fading away. While many employers do still require a cover letter, there are going to be instances in which cover letters are just not relevant.
Recruiters Reach Out to You
There may be instances in which recruiters reach out to you for a position based on your experience, education or skill set. Due to the nature of the approach, you may not need to write a document on why you are the best fit for the job. After all, someone thought you’d be a good fit already!
The Job Application Doesn’t Allow It
Some companies use application portals in which you upload your resume, references or other necessary documents to apply. If the portal specifically limits the type or number of documents to be attached and cover letter is not one of them, you don’t need it.
There are organizations that prefer to screen all of their applicants through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to identify the best match for the position, thus taking away the need to read a cover letter. Keep in mind this is also why we suggest having a targeted resume for your job search.
The Job Posting Specifically Says Not To
Job postings vary based on all of the factors that contribute to the job (i.e. the industry, company, level of position, person recruiting). Companies may include specific requirements for submitting to the posting, including cover letter instructions. Cover letters are a traditional job seeker tool that some believe are dated and therefore ask you do not submit one. This is a perfect time to show your skills such as attention to detail and following instructions!
So what can do you instead? It honestly depends on the situation, but generally, you can submit the requested documents and follow up in about a week. When you do follow up by phone or email, be sure to point out why you may be the best fit for the position (as you would have in the cover letter).
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