Why Is a Cover Letter Important?

  • Did you know that approximately 85% of candidates do not include a cover letter with their applications?
  • Did you know that over 60% of those that do include a cover letter, are interviewed?
  • Did you know that some applications are shortlisted based on the cover letter alone?

Why is this?

Today's jobs market is difficult for the job seeker and easy for the employer.  There are more candidates than jobs and certainly in Perth, employers are making redundancies on a weekly basis.  Let's look at some figures from a recent company I did some work for:

  • A basic administration job attracted 200 - 300 applications.
  • A marketing job attracted over 300 applications.
  • An IT job attracted 450 applications.

E-recruitment Systems:

Many companies do not have the latest and greatest e-recruitment systems which will automatically screen all the CVs and present the top ten applications to the recruiter.  Therefore, in most companies, a recruiter has to read all the applications, even if they do come in via an online system.

A Busy Day for the Recruiter:

The hiring manager will be desperate to get a candidate on board and will be breathing down the recruiters neck from the moment they have emailed the job approval through.  The recruiter would like nothing more than to get the hiring manager off their back.  The hiring manager thinks that their role is the only role that the recruiter has to recruit for and naturally, their role is crucial to the functioning of the business.  Every hiring manager thinks this.

On arrival at their desk in the morning, the recruiter will either see the managers beating a path to their desk, even before first coffee, or find an inbox full of requests for updates.

Reading the Applications/Getting Square Eyes:

Now imagine that the recruiter is going through the applications.  The majority of them require the recruiter to go through a 4 page CV and work out for themselves whether or not the candidate meets the requirements.  Then the recruiter comes to an application which has a cover letter.  A quick look at the cover letter shows the recruiter that the candidate meets all of the minimum requirements for the job.  As a recruiter, what would you do?

You might:

  1. Have a in-depth look at the CV before deciding whether or not to shortlist.
  2. Have a quick look at the CV and confirm the candidate has the minimum requirements to do the job. 

Or, if you have over 100 applications and a requirement to organise an interview within the next 3 or 4 days:

  • You may shortlist them straight away without looking at the attached CV.


  • Because it is easy.
  • Because it saves you time.
  • Because it means you can get a candidate straight over to the hiring manager and get them off your back.
  • Because you know that a candidate would not state in their cover letter that they have the qualifications and experience if it is not there on their CV.


By including a cover letter with your application, you have already increased your chances of being shortlisted for your dream job.

Want to know more?  Contact us today and let us help you write the perfect cover letter!