I’ve spoken to a few colleagues recently in recruiting, and there is some confusion about cover letters and whether or not corporate recruiters read them. Some people see it as a good way to showcase personality, writing skills, or knowledge of the company. Still others see it as bulky and a waste of time because recruiters aren’t going to read it anyway. I’m not sure who is correct, but I can give you some tips to increase your cover letter’s visibility. Keep in mind that the resume is still the first thing that we review, but a good cover letter can supplement your experience and personality. Some ideas to keep in mind:
- Apply only to relevant roles. If you are qualified for a job, the recruiter will know and will want to look at a cover letter. Use this opportunity to highlight a few points from the job description that closely match your background.
- Show some personality. You don’t have to fill your cover letter with jokes or witty sayings, but you should give us an insight into who you are not just what you can do. Don’t just list random things for the sake of being irreverent; rather connect a hobby or interest to a quality that would make you a good employee.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the role. Recruiters can spot a generic cover letter within a few seconds. Add a few sentences that show your knowledge of the company or ability to do the job. Bullet points are fine, and the more concise you can be the better.
- Don’t worry about formatting. At Groupon, and other large companies, all your materials will be stored in our resume database, so don’t worry about fancy formatting or colors. Different recruiters work on different roles, and multiple people will have access to your resume. Don’t waste time trying to figure out a specific contact, because it really doesn’t matter to us. But if you do have a personal connection at the company, then let us know.
I hope this info will help you when applying to Groupon or any other company. Cover letters are a nice supplement to your experience and a good way to show your personality and enthusiasm for the role. Including a cover letter doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get an interview. But it’s definitely not going to hurt you to take the extra time to tailor a cover letter for a specific company.