Do Cover Letters Go Through ATS? (Career Advice)

In the world of recruiting, it’s tough to get a job. Not only do you have to impress your potential employer with your skills and experience, but you also need to make sure they can find that information on their own. 

ATS software is designed to help recruiters screen applicants by matching their resumes against the job description and other qualifications. To ensure yours passes through this test successfully, there are some things you’ll need to consider when writing your cover letter:

Job Search Tips The Resume, Cover Letter, and ATS – YouTube
A well-written cover letter can significantly improve your chances of getting hired.
Your cover letter should be tailored to each job application to showcase how your skills and experience align with the job requirements.
It’s important to optimize your cover letter for ATS to ensure it gets past the initial screening and is seen by human recruiters.
A cover letter should be no longer than one page and should include a brief introduction, a description of your qualifications and experience, and a conclusion that reiterates your interest in the job.
To make your cover letter stand out, highlight your unique skills and experience that make you a good fit for the job, and include relevant metrics or accomplishments to showcase your achievements.

Do Cover Letters Go Through An ATS?

If you’ve ever applied for a job, you’ve probably come across an ATS (or Applicant Tracking System). These are the tools that recruiters use to screen applicants. They look at your resume and determine whether or not your skills match what they’re looking for in a candidate.

But how does an ATS decide? Is it just scanning through resumes with keywords? And if so, does this mean that cover letters don’t matter?

While there are no one-size-fits-all answers here, as every recruiter uses their unique software and processes, we can say that yes cover letters still matter! 

However, because ATS software is imperfect at best and downright terrible at worst (check out this article from Business Insider on some of the mistakes recruiters have made using them), it’s important to write a good cover letter even if it won’t make it past these automated filters.

One thing worth noting: You’ll often hear advice on writing cover letters that says “don’t put any information in your email signature block” or “don’t attach any files.” 

But while these may help keep things simple from a technical standpoint, they also limit how much information gets conveyed about who you are as an employee and how much detail there is about your experience working within the role/industry being hired for (which should be important when applying for jobs!). 

So our suggestion would be: Include whatever feels necessary; just make sure everything flows well together so nothing looks out of place when viewed through different browsers/devices!”

A well-written cover letter can make all the difference in your job search. If you’re unsure where to start, our career advice on cover letters can offer helpful tips and guidance to make your application stand out.

What Is ATS Software?

You may have heard of ATS software, but what does it mean?

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. It’s a program that helps companies sort through resumes. Most companies use an ATS to filter out candidates based on keywords and skills, so they can select only the best candidates for interviews and hiring.

How Do ATS Programs Work?

An ATS program is a type of software that scans your resume and cover letter, looking for keywords that are relevant to the job you are applying for. The word “relevant” can be somewhat subjective, as it depends on the company hiring and their particular needs.

If you use keywords that aren’t relevant to the job in question, your application might get filtered out by an ATS program before it ever gets seen by a human being who works at the company. 

In addition to using keywords specific to what they are looking for in an applicant, many companies also ask applicants to submit resumes with certain formatting conventions (such as bullet points). This allows them to more easily scan all of their applicants’ resumes quickly and efficiently with minimal effort on their part.

What Do Recruiters Look For In A Cover Letter?

A cover letter is an opportunity to make a good first impression on a potential employer. It’s your chance to show that you are a good fit for the job and company, and can do the work required. Don’t waste your time sending out generic cover letters that don’t say anything about you. Instead, write one tailored specifically for this position and employer.

Make sure it reflects your skills, experience, and personality so that they understand why you are a good fit for their particular business needs

Don’t underestimate the importance of a cover letter in your job application. Our career advice on cover letters explains why a well-crafted cover letter can make a significant impact and improve your chances of getting hired.

Do Job Seekers Read Cover Letters?

So, do job seekers read cover letters?

It’s a bit of a trick question. It depends on who you ask. If you ask someone who has never written one, or if they’ve never had to read them as part of their job search process, then they probably won’t be able to answer this question with confidence. 

But if you ask someone who has been on both sides of the table (i.e., writer and reader), then it’s likely that they can provide an informed response based on experience.

How Do I Write The Best Cover Letter Possible?

Here are some tips for putting together a cover letter that will stand out from the crowd:

Use a simple and direct tone. Your goal here is to get your application seen by someone who can hire you, not to impress your English teacher. 

Don’t use fancy language or convoluted sentences keep it simple, so that hiring managers can easily understand what you want and why they should consider hiring you. 

And remember, even if your writing isn’t perfect (and it probably isn’t), don’t worry about it too much as long as the important parts are well-written and understandable, nobody will care if there are mistakes in other areas of your writing!

Use an appropriate length. You don’t need to write an entire novel when submitting your cover letter; keep things short and sweet! 

This means no more than two pages at most; shorter is better! You don’t want hiring managers getting bored before they even finish reading through everything that could make their decision between two candidates difficult 

So keep things short enough so they won’t lose interest halfway through reading about all of your qualifications/experience etc, which could cause them not only to forget about all those great traits but also to fail at choosing between applicants based purely on merit alone!!

Is It Worth Submitting A Cover Letter These Days?

The short answer is yes. While cover letters have dwindled in importance over the years, they’re still an important part of your job search and shouldn’t be ignored.

Let’s look at why you should submit a cover letter for every job application you make:

Cover letters give you a chance to tell your story. It’s true that hiring managers often scan through resumes quickly, so if you don’t say something memorable in your resume or LinkedIn profile then there’s no guarantee it will stick with them long enough for them to bring it up in an interview. 

A great cover letter allows you to explain how much time and effort went into getting where you are today so even if a hiring manager doesn’t read through it (which happens more often than not), they’ll still get that sense from reading just the first couple paragraphs!

Cover letters allow employers to see who can write well and understand good grammar/punctuation skills; this makes candidates stand out among their peers who may have less formal education levels as well as lower literacy rates overall.”

One of the most common questions job seekers ask is whether their cover letter needs to be one page. Our career advice on cover letters provides guidance on the optimal length and format of a cover letter to help you make a great impression.

What Should Be In A Cover Letter Again, Anyway?

A cover letter should include the following:

An introduction. This is where you introduce yourself and your experience/background.

Your relevant skills and experience. Think about what makes you stand out from other applicants, and highlight that here!

Why you are the right person for the job? Tell them why they should hire you over everyone else who applied (or why they should at least consider hiring YOU). 

You can also mention anything specific about their company or role that made it attractive to apply in the first place for example, if there’s something unique about this organization or their mission that resonated with you, share that!

Any questions for them that came up during your research of them (if applicable)? If anything isn’t clear from looking online, ask a question before submitting just so everything is clear on both sides.

Writing a cover letter can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unsure of where to start. Our career advice on writing cover letters offers helpful tips and examples to help you craft an effective cover letter that showcases your skills and qualifications.

Should I Send My Cover Letter As An Attachment Or In The Body Of An Email?

You should send your cover letter as an attachment. This is the best way to make sure that your cover letter gets through a company’s automated screening process and reaches the right person.

If you’re attaching a resume, make sure you put it at the top of the email body. Your resume should be formatted in PDF or Word format (it should not be in PDF/A) and use Times New Roman or Open Sans font size 12, single-spaced with 1-inch margins on all sides.

If you’re looking to land your dream job, a well-written cover letter can make all the difference. Our career advice on how a cover letter can help you provides insights into the value of a cover letter and how it can help you stand out in a crowded job market.


We’re not saying that ATS software is going to make or break your job search. But it’s something to consider when you’re composing your cover letter and resume. 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to make sure your letters are well-written, personal, and error-free and that they hit all the right notes about keywords. If you keep these things in mind, then ATS will just be another tool in your arsenal for getting hired!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you improve your cover letter:

How to Get Your Cover Letter Through the Applicant Tracking System: This article provides tips on how to optimize your cover letter for ATS and increase your chances of getting an interview.

How to Write a Cover Letter: A Complete Guide: This comprehensive guide offers step-by-step instructions on how to write a cover letter, including tips on formatting and content.

How Do I Make My Cover Letter ATS-Friendly?: This resource offers practical advice on how to make your cover letter more ATS-friendly, including tips on keyword optimization and formatting.


What should be included in a cover letter?

A cover letter should include a brief introduction, a description of your qualifications and experience, and a conclusion that reiterates your interest in the job and thanks the employer for their time.

Should a cover letter be tailored to each job application?

Yes, it’s important to tailor your cover letter to each job application to showcase how your skills and experience align with the specific requirements of the job.

How long should a cover letter be?

A cover letter should be no longer than one page, and ideally should be around three to four paragraphs in length.

What is an ATS and why is it important?

An ATS, or Applicant Tracking System, is a software used by employers to manage and filter job applications. It’s important to optimize your cover letter for ATS to ensure it gets past the initial screening and is seen by human recruiters.

How can I make my cover letter stand out?

To make your cover letter stand out, try to highlight your unique skills and experience that make you a good fit for the job. You can also include relevant metrics or accomplishments to showcase your achievements.