Sorting through the mess of potential candidates for a position is often a headache. Hours of work are necessary to sift through dead weight and the prospective new employee who is the missing link, the difference between stagnancy, stasis, and innovation and efficiency. While there is no substitute for an in-depth analysis, there are some ways that can shorten the amount of time necessary, especially in regards to cover letters. Here are some quick ways to ascertain just how much potential a candidate has.
Cover letters, by design, have a specific format. They are created to lay out information in a way that employers can scan them and gain all the relevant information they need without reading the whole thing. Any kind of deviation from this format is automatically a red flag. By following this specific layout, a candidate shows that he or she understands the value of structure, because of its effect and purpose. Cover letters that are too long or too short can signify a candidate who either does not understand the succinct constructs of the workplace or does not place enough deference on the formalities that are present in business. A cover letter should contain references to past experience, so it is evident that he or she is not incompetent in the field and has some background. In addition, the candidate should also address what he or she hopes to accomplish in this new job, and what he or she can bring. This way, it is evident that the candidate has strong backing, but is also excited and willing to contribute and has a clear plan or goal of what to do.
It is also important to look for enthusiasm and detail. A good cover letter shows that the prospect is excited by the possibility of working for your company. It is important that he or she provides specific details, pertaining to your business in particular. The more generic the cover letter, the more likely that the candidate simply printed several copies of the same cover letter, with no regard to which company he or she is applying to. When looking for new employees, an enthusiastic one who genuinely wants to work for your company, because it is your company, generally takes more pride in his or her work, performs more efficiently and works with purpose.
Hopefully, this makes it easier to choose a candidate. Usually, upon first glance, the outliers are discarded quickly. Cover letters that are too short or too long are disposed of. However, after that, you must take content into account. Look for formal yet enthusiastic tone, prior experience, and a definite goal to accomplish. In some regards, the cover letter is the most personal aspect of the job application process, other than the interview. In the cover letter, you gain a sense of just who each candidate is, outside of objective quantifiers. Use this to your advantage to get a good idea of each applicant’s personality, and you can determine whether he or she is a good hire or not.