Ask a Recruiter: Is a Cover Letter Relevant?

Ask a Recruiter, For Candidates

The cover letter’s purpose is to bring out the candidate’s personality and delve further into the individual’s skillsets before an interview. However, when recruiters are involved in the screening process of the candidates, is it still necessary for candidates to submit a cover letter?

We asked two of our recruiters, Nicole Santos and Kelly Nelson, their view on the importance of providing a cover letter when applying for a job.

“When working with a recruiter, most clients do not find it necessary for candidates to provide a cover letter. Rather than depending on a one page write up, the recruiter can directly ask the candidate questions to gather similar information in a more personable level. It’s easy for candidates to oversell themselves in their cover letter, and then fall short in the interview. If a cover letter is required for a job, use it as an opportunity to qualify experience, explaining any achievements relevant to the job position that isn’t highlighted in the resume.” — Nicole Santos, Associate Account Executive


“A well-constructed cover letter can enhance your resume presentation. The cover letter should be brief, and offer specific highlights of your career. In my opinion, the cover letter should be unique to each opportunity. Candidates should carefully study the job description or summary so as to really focus on the unique aspects of the job. Based on your review, you should address how your candidacy can fulfill the critical components of the assignment. Cover letters should be no longer than one page. I like to use an opening summary paragraph. Bullet points can be used as an effective formatting tool to focus the recipient on the most important content. A final paragraph can be used to indicate your enthusiastic interest in the position.” — Kelly Nelson, Sr. Vice President

Often in the recruiting industry, clients inform recruiters that a resume will suffice when it comes to a job search. When a cover letter is required for a job, however, be sure to leave out superfluous information that is irrelevant to the position and highlight the qualities and skills necessary to leave a lasting impression on the employer to receive an interview.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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