Skip the Cover Letter: 4 Tips and Tricks for Successful Job Applications
A classic job application usually consists of a cover letter and resume.
However, many applicants find it difficult to write a cover letter because they don't know what information belongs there, and so it often takes a lot of time.
The good news: More and more companies are now choosing to accept or even offer an application without a cover letter.
In order to make the application process as easy as possible and thus motivate many applicants, quite a few companies offer applying without a cover letter.
You probably know this: The fewer hurdles you have to overcome as a candidate, the more attractive the company becomes for you.
We explain what such an application looks like and when it may make sense to omit the cover letter.
How Important is the Cover Letter These Days?
The cover letter serves to record the qualifications and motivation of the applicant in writing.
As an applicant, you express here how you found the job offer and why you think you are a suitable candidate. Recruiters thus get an impression of your applicant personality and your ability to express yourself factually.
However, many recruiters only take a cursory glance at the cover letter and tend to focus on the resume.
Especially in times of skilled labor shortages, more and more companies are focusing on simplifying recruiting processes to attract applicants.
Complicated application processes are known to discourage many potential talents and damage the candidate journey.
When Is a Cover Letter Useful and Reasonable?
In many cases, a resume and interview are sufficient to determine a candidate's suitability.
For jobs that do not require specific qualifications, you may apply without a cover letter, depending on the company's requirements. In this case, the job posting should explicitly state that no cover letter is required.
Should the advertised position require a lot of technical knowledge and soft skills, it is worthwhile to write a cover letter, because in this case an application without a cover letter could possibly mean that you cannot put yourself in the best possible light.
HR uses the letter to draw conclusions about an applicant's cultural fit, hoping to keep turnover rates as low as possible.
In general, the more complex the job, the higher the importance of a formal cover letter.
Alternatives to a Cover Letter
An application without a cover letter does not necessarily mean that companies do not require a letter at all.
Cover letters are in some cases replaced by alternative solutions, such as motivational questions or an application video.
Online applications and so-called one-click applications are also being used more and more.
Based on motivational questions, the HR department assesses the applicant's incentive. Frequently asked questions are, for example:
- Why did you apply for this position?
- What goals do you want to pursue in this job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What excites you about this job?
Try to answer the given questions honestly, displaying your enthusiasm for the position.
Go into detail about your work experience and articulate what successes you have achieved in previous positions. In addition, you should convince hiring managers that your personal strengths are a perfect fit for the position.
For more tips on this, see our blog article on this topic.
Application Videos Instead of Cover Letters
Application videos are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to the traditional cover letter as a way to stand out from the crowd and showcase your personality in an even better and more authentic way.
With a video, you can better showcase your passion while demonstrating commitment and, of course, creativity. HR usually likes videos, and 90% of recruiters even prefer applicants to send a video.
As digitization continues, the hiring process is also changing, and one-click applications are another way to simplify applications.
If a company offers this type of application, the candidate's information and work history from career networks are sent directly to the company.
This way, the company receives all important data in just a few seconds.
Which Information Should Be Included in the “Complete” Application Documents?
If a company requests complete application documents, a letter of application must also be submitted. In this case, the following documents belong in the application folder:
- Formal Cover Letter
- Job References
You can also apply without a job reference, but in this case you should pay more attention to the resume and cover letter.
Sometimes candidates apply from a position that has not been terminated, and thus a job reference is not yet available.
How To Write an Appealing Cover Letter
When applying without a contact person, many applicants use the common salutation “Dear Sir or Madam”. Since this salutation is very general, and it is not obvious from it that you have already informed yourself extensively about the company, it is advisable to choose a direct address. If the job advertisement does not contain the name of the person in charge, you will usually find it on the company's website.
In the cover letter, you should focus on three basic things:
- Your motivation
- Your suitability
- Your added value for the employer
Stay authentic in your wording and try to score points with convincing arguments. To increase your credibility, examples, and success stories are always welcome. Furthermore, try not to simply retell your resume, but concentrate here on your soft skills.
Four Tips for Applying Without a Cover Letter
When applying to a company without a cover letter, you should make sure to keep your self-presentation as interesting and compact as possible.
For this reason, we have put together a few helpful tips for you.
1. Formulate briefly and concisely.
An application without a cover letter was specifically designed so that recruiters do not have to read novels when hiring talent.
2. Clearly present your qualifications in your resume.
Submit relevant documents or certificates in addition.
3. Choose a suitable layout for the application.
So that it is easy to read, but still remains in the recruiter's mind.
4. The questions that are usually answered in the cover letter of candidates may be asked by the company in the interview or a phone call.
So be prepared for questions about your motivation, goals, strengths, and weaknesses.
A cover letter gives you, the candidate, the opportunity to put your qualifications in writing and gives the recruiter a glimpse of your professional background.
In order to make the recruiting process easier and more effective for applicants, more and more companies are now foregoing the need to write out your professional achievements and are offering an application without a cover letter.
In the case of such an application, you should try to record your soft skills in your resume and accurately present your skills.
Alternatives to the cover letter, such as one-click applications and videos, are also increasingly requested and always welcome.
If you are also looking for a new job, we at TieTalent will be happy to assist you. We offer a wide range of interesting jobs, especially in the field of IT and digital marketing.