Talk to any job seeker today and you’ll hear an almost unanimous response about the state of his or her search: writing cover letters sucks.
As someone who recently spent months looking for a job, I couldn’t agree more. For me, funemployment (albeit, not so fun), looked a lot like this: wake up, scour Indeed.com for open positions, find one that seems interesting enough to apply to, and then spend the remaining hours of the day slaving away over the perfect cover letter. Honing the wording, finding the right person to address it to, bearing my soul - but not too much.
Cover letters require you to become a master of the humblebrag. You have to talk about yourself in a way that is not too proud, not too modest, but, Goldilocks’ style, just the right amount of shameless self-promotion.
Then, when I’d finally send off a perfectly crafted, four paragraphs of spell-checked awesome, I’d invariably wake up the next morning to an “insert name here” email telling me that the company had reviewed my materials and that I didn’t meet the qualifications for the position.
Dude, it’s been less than 24 hours. Did you even read my cover letter?
The answer, I’m afraid, is usually a hard “NO.”
Jobvite’s annual Talent Acquisition Report revealed that 60% of recruiters found cover letters to be the least important factor in deciding if candidates were a good fit for their company. And, anecdotally, the same percentage reported not reading them at all.
With over 250 applicants, on average, applying for a single job posting, cover letters no longer align with the pace and scale of the current hiring market. What we need is Mean Girls-inspired reality check: Let's stop trying to make cover letters happen. They're not going to happen!
That’s why we decided, once and for all, to take them out of the equation. As of this week, HubSpot applications no longer require cover letters. Hello there, 21st century.
So, if the cover letter is going extinct, how can you stand out in the hiring process? Candidates should showcase themselves in modern and creative ways. Here at HubSpot and out in the wild, we’ve seen some remarkable examples of cover letter alternatives that blew recruiters away. Let’s explore some examples to help get your creative juices flowing. Hopefully, you’re left inspired for tackling your next job application with content that goes beyond the age-old cover letter.