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Are application cover letters out of fashion?

By Tony Fritsche
The Age

Don't underestimate the importance or effectiveness of a cover or application letter.

This is vital in ensuring the candidate's qualifications and attributes fit the employer's requirements for the position, and that they're stated upfront.

In an era when online job boards are proving to be more effective than print, and when recruiters often receive overwhelming responses to roles, a tailored cover letter enables the recruiter or hiring manager to identify candidates who best fit the selection criteria faster and more easily.

Organisations regularly ask candidates to submit an application of interest in the first instance. Be aware that this application letter will be assessed as thoroughly and as critically as a resume in determining suitability for the role.

Mint Group's national recruitment manager, Marcus Pettinato, says an application letter is often a resume in disguise, so it is paramount that you address the critical areas of the role and show that your qualifications match the requirements of the position.

The underlying consideration when submitting an application letter is to convince the hiring manager or recruiter to invite you for an interview, so make sure your pitch is clear, concise and highlights your abilities as well as possible.

There are some exceptions to providing a cover letter, such as if you are hand-delivering your resume during an interview or when you have been approached directly by a recruiter.

An interview also allows you to personally introduce and promote yourself to the prospective employer, all while fortifying the situation with your resume.

Tony Fritsche Director and co-founder of recruitment and training company Mint Group

More great cover letter and resume advice here in
MyCareer's Advice and Research Centre

Published: 08 March 2008

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