Please. Retire the Cover letter.

Vintage typewriter

Dear Hiring Managers- Are you requiring applicants to submit a cover letter with their resume? If yes, please stop. You are missing out on your best candidates.

And for every candidate who has written a cover letter; you have my sympathy and  support to reject this antiquated, subservient request of a prospective employer who has not even acknowledged your existence on earth.

Employers. It’s time to treat candidates as you would want to be treated. I’ve heard the responses “we get so many applicants,” or ” I can’t sift through all of these resumes.” So adding more paper to the process makes sense?

What is slighting to me is when an employer is hiring for an entry level or service position and they want a cover letter. Sure. Because so many of us at one time have raised small children while commuting an hour to work, only to be excited about applying for a position but too exhausted to spend 30 minutes of precious sleep once the house was quiet.

Applying for a leadership position? As an executive you may be  asked to fill out a full application  (including social, home address and date of birth because that’s needed to evaluate a candidate’s skills),  provide a cover letter detailing interest in the position and upload a resume. This  is an unreasonable request before HR acknowledges the candidate’s existence.

Unemployment is at 3.7%. Hiring Managers! You are loosing out on great candidates by treating them as if its 2008 and Lehman Brothers best and brightest are now applying for cashier positions at Quick Trip. Please stop. 

It’s hard to find to great talent and making the application process cumbersome is a contrary hiring strategy. An employer who has not  expressed interest in a candidate, especially if they’re not a Fortune 1000 or offering a six figure position- Need to retire the cover letter request.

Every business should put their HR team through the application process. How long does it take, does it feel invasive, punitive, boring? Probably all of the above. If you want top talent, retire the cover letter, streamline your application process to 10 minutes or less and start reading what’s relevant.

I guarantee once you have a qualified candidate in the process he/she will write any letter you want, take any personality test or or jump through your corporate hoops.

Happy hiring.


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