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9 September 2013

Digital Footprints: The New Cover Letter?

Posted by JamesT

The amount of digital information available to recruiters is astounding. A candidate’s digital footprint -- the information she has shared on the Web in the form of networking profiles, online resumes and participation in social media -- becomes her cover letter, her introduction to a company, even before she applies.

When recruiters mine that digital information with candidate relationship management software, they cut through a lot of the empty padding that used to be an inevitable part of the process. Searching through indexed information means recruiters aren’t spending their time attracting candidates; they’re already sorting out qualified candidates and deciding which one is the best fit.

Following candidates’ digital footprints can save you a ton of time and get you the same information that a traditional cover letter would have.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a breakdown of the components of a traditional cover letter and what they look like now in the form of a digital footprint:

Contact Information

This one’s easy. People typically include at the very least an email address with their online profiles. When your recruiting software mines the Web and automatically updates candidate profiles in your candidate recruiting management database, you’re ahead of the game.

Opening Paragraph

This is often dedicated to information from the candidate and is the best example of how a cover letter is really all about the candidate’s approach to the job search, rather than the recruiter’s. This paragraph includes information on what position the candidate is applying for and how he heard about it. It might also mention a mutual acquaintance.

Online, though, it’s already clear who this person is and what contacts you might have in common. Next.


This is what you as a recruiter are really interested in -- and notice how long it took for you to get here. When you use the power of an indexed Web to screen online profiles and resumes for people with these skills and qualifications, you already have a pool of potential candidates to choose from.


The social niceties included in a cover letter are no longer necessary. But bypassing “sincerely yours” means you’ll be able to spend more time reaching out to a candidate and recruiting them, rather than advertising job openings to them.

And there’s usually far more information to be found in a digital footprint that isn’t included in a cover letter. You’re able to see the networks your candidate belongs to, who has recommended her and what kind of contacts you might have in common. Often, you can even access online portfolios of past work, patents the person owns, videos they’ve shared and blog posts they’ve written. All of these online sources give you the opportunity to review work samples and competency examples before you’ve even made contact with the candidate.

By using candidate sourcing software, you can specify searches of this online footprint that will bring you a list of candidates tailor-made for the position you want to fill.

Most of the information candidates provide in a cover letter is already online for you to find. The highly qualified candidates your company is hoping to hire are leaving their digital footprints all over the Internet in the form of online resumes, business network profiles, professional databases and social media and other Web-based activities. They’re out there -- it’s up to you to follow them.

Talemetry delivers all the tools recruiters need to find, attract, and engage the talent they need today – and tomorrow – in a single, simple and social cloud-based solution. As the leading provider of talent generation solutions, the Talemetry software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite includes talent sourcing & CRM, job broadcasting, career sites and candidate application solutions. Schedule a demo today to learn howTalemetry can help you find better talent faster.

Topics: online application, sourcing candidates, candidate experience, online cover letter

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