New survey of recruitment and tech professionals suggests cover letters are not essential when applying for a job in tech recently discussed. But they are also confronting the reality of the digital skills gap, a subject Forbes has been covering with some urgency of late. In this context, tech professionals may be finding themselves in relatively high demand in spaces outside of the traditional tech sector such as manufacturing or retail. But job applications can still be quite intensive – even when there’s an immediate tactical objective at stake for the organization that’s hiring.

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 favor of them.


What do you think about cover letters?

  • Completely unnecessary: 64%
  • Very beneficial: 10%
  • It depends: 26%

Nigel Frank International Chairman & CEO James Lloyd-Townshend commented: “Attitudes towards cover letters have really shifted over the last decade, particularly when it comes to tech recruitment. 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 resumé.

“Skipping the cover letter can make for a more expedient process, saving work for both recruiter and candidate alike. 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% majority is focused on those realities, I would say. At the same time, cover letters will likely remain useful in some scenarios – where an organization is moving more steadily towards long-term planning goals, for example.”


This 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.