Making use of a professional network comprised of both tech professionals and recruiters, Nigel Frank International has conducted a survey to gauge current attitudes towards cover letters. The results show a majority sharing the opinion that cover letters aren’t necessary, and only a very small minority fully in favour of them.

Survey Results
What do you think about cover letters?
Completely unnecessary: 64 per cent
Very beneficial: 10 per cent
It depends: 26 per cent

“Attitudes towards cover letters have really shifted over the last decade, particularly when it comes to tech recruitment,” commented Nigel Frank International Chairman & CEO James Lloyd-Townshend. “Cover letters definitely have some upsides, namely the potential to help an applicant stand out at the preliminary stage of the recruitment process and therefore receive an invitation to interview. But it’s also true that there is some overlap between the purpose of a cover letter and the purpose of an interview. They’re both about getting to know the person behind the credentials on the CV.

“Skipping the cover letter can make for a more expedient process, saving work for both recruiter and candidate alike,” James adds. “This has become increasingly important in tech because speed is often of the essence – especially when businesses need to pursue digital transformation projects to keep pace with the market. That 64 per cent majority is focused on those realities, I would say. At the same time, cover letters will likely remain useful in some scenarios – where an organisation is moving more steadily towards long-term planning goals, for example.”

The survey was conducted on the Nigel Frank International LinkedIn page in October 2022. The poll was open to Nigel Frank’s network of tech and recruitment professionals, and the number of respondents totalled 824.

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