Job hunting? Need to hire? We are here to answer your most pressing questions and share our experience recruiting superstars for some of the best companies! At Pronexia, we are Montreal & Vancouver Headhunters of the new generation and this post is part of our new #PronexiaBlogs series.
Let me share something I have been doing recently. Lately, I have gotten into the habit of deleting job applications that arrive in my inbox with nothing written in the body of the email. Yep, I’m talking about blank emails with the only wording being the job title in the subject line and a CV attached. Surprised? I was surprised at first, too – seems like a bold thing to do. However, it is slowly becoming the norm – and a justified norm, in my opinion. How did we arrive at a point in the job-hunting practice that a culture of carelessness and impersonality has become the standard when making an application?
The culprit is not hard to pinpoint. Too many lazy recruiters and too many lazy hiring managers are proudly proclaiming that they are too busy (read: incompetent and disinterested) to be bothered reading what a job applicant writes to them. Heck, most people take 6 seconds (that’s a fact) to even review the actual resume. So, as a job seeker you conclude that there is no need to preface your application with anything written because in 6 seconds it’s unlikely to get read.
I wonder, however: should subpar hiring processes really result in your lowering your own personal standards? Does this not perpetuate the whole cycle of inferior quality on both ends of the recruitment cycle? And how about those of us who actually practice true and thorough recruitment without the need for cutting corners?
Cover letters in their original formal and stuffily-worded format are certainly becoming archaic, and I am quick to dismiss the cover letter as a mere formality that job-seekers feel like they somehow “must” do. Yet, the biggest mistake you can make is not to replace them with your own original text, be that in the form of an attachment or simply copy-pasted in the body of the email you are shooting off.
Here is why:
- It takes a month of job hunting per every $10,000 you target in salary
- Employers receive an average of 75 to 250 applications per job ad
- Only 2% of job applicants actually get interviews
- Stats aside, you come off as lazy and perhaps even impolite, only increasing the probability of having your application end up straight in Trash.
The point is something you likely already know: employers, recruiters, and hiring managers receive a lot of applications, and job hunting for niche and senior roles is hard. We live in a growingly-impersonal digital world where sending an application can be done in the time it takes to sneeze. It’s your job as a job-seeker to ensure your application stands out, remains personalized, and demonstrates that your application is more than just a robot (an app) that sends out your CV automatically according to keywords that pop up on job boards. Personalize it, put in a quick extra effort, and it’ll pay off tenfold.
Ultimately, it is your choice. If you want to send out your CV en masse via automatic digital job-board updates, then expect the return on your effort to be directly proportionate to the effort you put in (i.e. minimal). Looking to stand out from the pack and grab the prospective employer’s attention before she even opens your resume? Stay tuned for tips on how to write the perfect application email!