Updated: Nov 9
When sifting through a stack of job applications, it's common for many recruiters and hiring managers to focus solely on the candidates' resumes. However, overlooking the value of a well-crafted cover letter can be a missed opportunity.
In this newsletter, we'll explore three essential things to look for in a cover letter that will help you determine if the candidate is the right fit for your position.
Demonstrated Interest and Personalization
A well-written cover letter showcases a candidate's genuine interest in the specific role and company. How badly do they want this job, and have they made it a priority? Look for evidence of personalization and research, such as mentioning the company's accomplishments or expressing enthusiasm for the organization's specific mission. A good candidate will be highly aware of the position they are applying for and can explain why they want the job. A lack of personalization in the cover letter can be a red flag when assessing candidates as you do not want someone who has not put in the time and effort to apply for the position.
Strong Communication and Writing Skills
A cover letter is a candidate's first opportunity to demonstrate their communication and writing abilities, and first impressions are important! Analyze the letter for clarity, conciseness, and proper grammar. Effective communication skills are crucial for success in any role, especially leadership and management positions that require working with others. Candidates who can articulate their qualifications and motivations eloquently are sure to represent your organization professionally. For example, this provides valuable insight on how they will write emails to clients later and draft important papers.
Evidence of Cultural Fit and Values Alignment
Culture fit is a critical factor in ensuring a successful long-term hire. Look for clues in the cover letter that indicate the candidate's alignment with the company's values and work culture. A candidate who shares the organization's core values and demonstrates an understanding of the company's culture is more likely to thrive in the workplace and work well with their team. According to a Harvard Business Review report, cultural fit can significantly impact job performance, with employees who fit well within the culture being more engaged and satisfied within their role, making them more productive daily.
A cover letter is more than just a formality; it is a window into a candidate's personality, communication skills, and alignment with your organization's values and goals. Paying attention to this often-overlooked document can lead to making informed hiring decisions that yield long-term success.
If you need help hiring a leadership position for your organization, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will schedule a no-cost, no obligation 30-minute consultation to discuss how to supercharge your recruitment efforts.
Maneva Group is a woman and minority owned national executive search firm focusing on the social sector with expertise in completely managing the recruiting process, curating diverse and exceptionally qualified candidate pools, and advising C-suite executives and board members through crucial hiring decisions.