If you’re still sending hand-written applications – you are out of your mind
**This post is obviously valid for office jobs, not for industries where online media are not widely used in recruitment.
A couple of times I've found in the mail hand-written applications and I admit it is surprising, uncommon and it gets our attention.
But do you truly think as a candidate it will make any difference on whether you're going to get a job? It won't.
"99% of cover letters are just the same crap that people send to all companies out there - it doesn't bring any added value to the reader and loses its purpose."
Even hand-written it won't shine believe me.
• The crappy cover letters issue
People sum up what is written in their resumes (in case we didn't get it right from looking at it) and how they truly want to contribute / make a difference / be an asset / _______(fill in the blank) to a company - without a word (not even the name) of the company or explaining why they apply!
And that is why most of the cover letters are never even opened and should just end up in the bin where it belongs.
I will soon cover this topic with more context so you understand - but let's make it clear (hand-written or not) it's only good when you do it well.
Using this approach you might get attention that you don't have anymore through broken channels such as job boards & corporate recruitment sites. I do agree on that.
It might as well get lost in the mails. Who knows.
So is it worth the trouble?
• When 2 final short-listed applicants are equally good
Will the hiring manager lean towards the one who has taken the time to hand-write the cover letter. Maybe.
Bear in mind that this situation is rare as recruiters usually have a preference - quite early on in the recruitment process - as you are not just an education-experiences-skills set but also a personality which makes the hiring decision also about personal feelings. If you ever are in this situation, it probably means that several decision-makers don't agree on the choice OR both applicants are not that suitable for the job/company.
In that case, you will most likely make a difference if you have sent a thank you noteafter the interviews (yes an email should be just fine).
If you have the right profile for a job/company, who cares if you DID NOT take the time to write your cover letter on a piece of paper and send it via mail ?
It has no weight in the balance. It should not.
Your time is precious, try to optimise it as much as you can. Job search is time consuming (if not it means you just click "apply" to any jobs and hope to get lucky). Remember to look at the efforts vs results you get when trying other ways to get noticed.
Don't lose time you should devote to preparation (being self-aware of your talents, making plans for your future, targeting companies you really like, doing enough research on them, finding the right contacts, preparing for interviews before you apply...).
Candidates -> Do you want to work for a company that still favours outdated way of communication thinking it is an amazing move? Did you ever try it to get notice / do you think it worked?
Recruiters -> Are you amazed by this approach? Have you recently received hand-written applications ?
I'm curious to know your thoughts - we can agree to disagree!
I'm the founder of frenchgrad.com a private recruitment platform dedicated to French-speaking professionals working abroad.
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