What Do Recruiters Look For in a Cover Letter?

What Do Recruiters Look For in a Cover Letter?
Share This Post

If you’re one of the job seekers who must submit a cover letter as part of your application, you may wonder what recruiters are looking for.

Do they want to see typos? How much research should you do on the company? Is it better to keep it short or discuss your qualifications?

This blog post will cover what recruiters look for in a cover letter and give tips on making your application stand out. Stay tuned!

Land More Interviews With A Professional Resume

Get a professional resume review from a certified career expert

Are cover letters necessary?

A cover letter is one of the most overlooked parts of the applicant packet. But even though some people think they don’t matter, there are good reasons why a cover letter matters:

  1. It allows you to show potential employers your interest in the position.
  2. It lets you explain what makes you qualified for the role.
  3. It will enable you to demonstrate how much thought you’ve put into the rest of your application package.

Even if your cover letter goes unread, an employer might still expect to see it. If you apply for a specific job opening, you’ll probably receive a request asking you to send a cover letter along with your resume.

You may also receive a separate email requesting a cover letter. In either case, it’s worth crafting a well-written cover letter highlighting your skills and experience while demonstrating your interest in the position.

Purpose of a cover letter

The purpose of a cover letter is to highlight everything on your resume in more depth. You want to give the hiring manager a reason why you’re perfect for the job.

So take some time to think about what makes you unique, and write down everything that you feel is relevant to the position. Don’t just copy and paste your resume into a cover letter; do your best to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.

In addition to highlighting your skills, experience, and accomplishments, you can also include information about yourself, such as hobbies, interests, goals, etc. This helps potential employers understand you outside of work and allows you to stand out.

When are cover letters necessary?

Cover letters are usually required when applying for jobs online, via email, or even over the phone. They are significant when sending out multiple applications because recruiters and hiring managers want to know why you deserve a chance to interview.

However, there are times when you don’t need one, like when applying for a single role or position. In these cases, you can skip the cover letter altogether.

How do recruiters evaluate cover letters? Do cover letters merely resume?

Cover letters are typically used to highlight accomplishments during one’s career. Employers want to know what skills and experiences you’ve acquired throughout your career.

While a cover letter is a great way to showcase your work history, it doesn’t always have to include every single detail.

Recruiters are looking for something that stands out above the rest. For example, suppose you were recently promoted to Senior Manager.

In that case, your cover letter might read something like: “I’m excited about my promotion because I am now responsible for overseeing a team of five employees.” This language makes it clear that you understand the responsibilities of being a manager.

If you mention specific projects you worked on while in the role, employers will see that you’re aware of the duties associated with the position.

Are cover letters read?

Recent research was conducted where 2,500 hiring professionals were asked how much weight they place on cover letters. Here are some interesting takeaways:

  • Only 10% of respondents say they look at cover letters during the interview process.
  • Of those who read cover letters, 75% don’t use them to make decisions about applicants.
  • Even among those who use cover letters, 30% still don’t think they’re worth reading.
  • One-third of recruiters say they never read cover letters.

What should I look for in a strong cover letter?

A well-written cover letter is like a mini resume; it helps you stand out from the crowd. But what makes a great one? Here are some tips to help you craft a winning cover letter.

1. Be specific. Don’t just say, “I’m interested in working for XYZ Company.” Instead, explain why you want to work there and what you’d bring to the table. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing role, mention how you’ve worked on campaigns for similar companies. If you’re applying for a sales position, talk about how you’ve helped clients solve problems.

2. Keep it short. A cover letter shouldn’t take up more than a few paragraphs. You don’t need to write a novel here.

3. Use action verbs. When writing a cover letter, use active language – words such as “attempted,” “contacted,” “interviewed,” and “presented” – rather than passive ones (“was hired”). This indicates that you did something to apply for the job.

4. Write the letter on professional paper. Please avoid using your stationery unless you’re sure it reflects your personality.

5. Include keywords. Search engines look for key terms in a cover letter, so make sure yours includes relevant phrases.

6. Proofread carefully. Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct. If you’re unsure of anything, ask someone else to proofread it.

Qualities of a good cover letter?

Cover letters are essential pieces of correspondence. They help potential employers learn more about you and why you want to work there. However, writing one can be tricky. Here are some tips on what to include and how to make it stand out:

1. Clear and easy-to-read language

Recruiters want a document they can send out quickly without spending hours editing. They don’t want to waste their time reading something that doesn’t make sense or contains spelling errors. So, to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to tailor each cover letter to the job posting.

In addition to writing about yourself, you’ll want to write about the position you’re applying for and why you think you’d be a good fit. Include keywords in your resume and work experience to ensure your application stands out. You might even consider creating a separate resume for different positions.

2. Evidence of your minimal exertions

Recruiters want to know you researched the firm; it shows you went above and beyond.

Don’t forget to use the web to your advantage! Suppose you can incorporate some recent industry news or, even better, meaningful information about the company you’re applying to. In that case, you’ll make a good impression and increase your chances of getting hired.

4. Why you’re suitable for the job

Recruiters need a cause to consider you. Could you give it to them?

Your cover letter shows the recruiting manager why they should interview you, especially when you showcase relevant skills, achievements, and experience. Explain why you’re ideal.

5. Professionalism

Explicit language, improper language, made-up acronyms, and bad spelling and grammar scare off hiring managers.

Sentences that are overly complicated or use run-on clauses send the wrong message about your writing ability. The inverse is true.

If you’re doubtful of your writing talents or if English (or French, depending on where you reside) isn’t your first language, ask a friend or colleague to edit it or hire a professional. Cover letters are your chance to make an excellent first impression.

Land More Interviews With A Professional Resume

Get a professional resume review from a certified career expert

Should You Use One to Apply for a Job?

On the one hand, sending a cover letter with your résumé could help you stand out from the competition. But it may not always be necessary.

If the job application explicitly says you shouldn’t send a cover letter, don’t waste your time. And if the application form doesn’t give you a place to attach a cover letter, don’t bother submitting one.


A well-crafted cover letter is essential to getting your foot in the door for an interview. But what do recruiters look for when they read them?

Our team of experts has put together a guide on writing a cover letter that will make you stand out from the competition.

We can help you polish your skills and give you the tools you need to create a winning application package. So, what are you waiting for? Let us help you get started today!

Is Your Resume Working?

Get a professional resume review from a certified career expert

Is your resume getting ignored?

Land more interviews and get hired faster with a professional resume written by career experts.


Resume + Cover Letter

$ 199
  • Professionally written resume - By experts that know your industry
  • Formatted for success - Formatting that will get an employer's attention.
  • Keyword optimized - Your resume will be optimized to pass through Applicant Tracking Systems.
  • Collaborate with writer - Work directly with your resume writer for a personalized experience
  • Cover Letter - Employers are 40% more likely to read a resume with a cover letter.

Contact Us

Contact us if you have any questions

Monday - Friday, (9am - 5pm EST)


Priority Support


(786) 474 - 6976