Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Recruiters Are Seeking for Personalities: Show It on Your Cover Letter

Whenever you find a job that is even slightly interesting, you can be sure that you’ve got some serious competition. Of course, if you’ve got an impressive resume that will help beat the others in the field. That’s not the only way that you can win over a recruiter, however. Another way to do that is to show off your personality.

The question, naturally, is how to do that? How can you make sure that your personality is actually an asset and doesn’t turn into a liability? That’s what we’re going to discuss today.

Alright, enough pre-amble. Let’s get to it!

They want to see personality, not how clever you are

A lot of people seem to think that in order to show their personality they have to either use some clever language or make a joke of some kind. In this way, they believe, they can impress the recruiter and most certainly get hired.

Don’t go down that route. Recruiters are rarely in the mood for jokes. They’re looking for certain skills and abilities and will think your attempt to be clever or your joke is just a distraction. And considering they’ve probably got dozens if not hundreds of applications to get through before they can get to their normal job (looking for candidates is rarely the only thing they have to do) they won’t appreciate that.

So don’t go down that route.

Big words and big sentences don’t equal a big personality either

Another wat people try to impress recruiters is by writing long lyrical sentences, where they use lots of three syllable words that many people will need a dictionary to understand. That isn’t a good idea, either.

Long sentences and big words reduce readability. That’s the last thing you want to do. Why? Because the average recruiter is going to give your resume about six seconds. That means that they have to be able to scan and pick up the big points in that time. The harder they struggle to understand what you’re talking about, the less they’re going to take in.

What’s more, the harder they struggle, the less personality they think you have. After all, why else would you be hiding behind big words? 

So, don’t do that either.

Don’t rely on big words, rely on big ideas

Instead of going down that route, instead of trying to convince people how clever you are by using difficult language, talk about big ideas with simple language. If you can do that, if you can demonstrate complex concepts with simple language, then you’re going to make a very good impression indeed, as that means that you don’t just know your stuff, but you can communicate it clearly and easily to other parties. That makes you not just a doer, but also a teacher.

In fact, that is where your cover letter should shine. It should be accessible first and foremost so that the people reading it feel the urge to read it right to the end. Then, on top of that, you can build engagement and personality into your cover letter.

So how do you do that?

First of all, use the tools available. There are plenty of them online, like the Hemingway app and These will tell you how readable your text is and also point out problem areas so that you can fix those (and thereby boost accessibility).

If you find that too hard, then it’s time to get help by trying to find the best writing advisor. People like this can point out problems and ways that you can solve them. In that way, it will be a lot easier for you to know what you’re supposed to work on. 

Everyday text to describe a special person

With those tools, you can then take a text that is truly you (and this is important) and craft it to be truly readable. How do you write a text that is truly you? By talking about the things and ideas that you deeply care about.

The aim, as I’ve said before, is never to hide who you are. That’s pointless as when they don’t know who you are, they’re never going to hire you. Instead, reveal yourself – in the best light of course. Show them your enthusiasm and why you get up in the morning. Tell them why you are so excited about these opportunities.

Be down to earth. The more you’ve accomplished, the more down to earth you can be. After all, your accomplishments speak for themselves, so why do you need to stand up and blow your own horn?

So don’t be a stuffed shirt. Don’t be any kind of shirt. For even if you get hired pretending to be somebody you’re not, you won’t be happy in the job you’re entering under false pretenses. And the goal isn’t just to find a job, but also to stay in there for a while, so you can grow, learn and enhance the skills you have.

Last words

Recruiters read about people who are full of themselves (or pretend to be) all the time. They can generally see straight through your pretense. That is their job, after all. And when they do, it will generally disqualify you. So don’t go down that route. Instead, tell them who you are and tell them what you care about.

After all, though they’re looking for a set of skills, they’re also hoping for a person with the right personality to aid their team and make the place they work at that bit better the environment. They’re not just looking for somebody who can flip a burger, do the accounts or build a company. They’re looking for somebody who they might enjoy talking to about such things.

So that’s where you show your personality. In that way, you’ll demonstrate how likable you are and that is one of the best predictors of whether you’re going to get hired or not.