This guide focuses on whether you should write a cover letter when applying for a job via a recruitment agency, rather than direct to an employer. If applying directly to an employer, we would highly recommend writing a strong cover letter, but via an agency it’s often not as vital.
Traditionally it has been seen imperative to write a cover letter when applying for a role, this is no longer the case. As recruiters, we find that the vast majority of applicants don’t actually write cover letters as part of their application and actually, most employers don’t request one.
But what is the reason? Well, I think the feedback we received has been that applicants presume recruiters won’t read them, which according to the “2017 Job Seeker Nation Study” this is probably correct – in fact, only 26% will take the time to read.
Whilst 26% may seem low, that would mean more than one in four will be read, therefore, it’s vital that if you do choose to include a cover letter, you should take the time to ensure it’s not just well written, but that it quickly gives the intended recipient a reason to make contact with you.
To do this, we would recommend quickly covering your suitability for the role by focusing on the most relevant points from your CV (check out our previous blog on CV writing tips here) and your current situation.
If you have worked with us previously, we apologise for sounding like a broken record but we will say it again – DO NOT use unknowns, always use facts – rather than saying you’re a good salesperson, prove it. What were your targets? What did you achieve? What was the average sale? What was your biggest sale? Who did you sell to?
So to conclude, in many cases, when applying to an agency you probably won’t need a cover letter, but if you do make the decision to write one, please ensure you make it a good one.