On May 1, InternMatch will host a two-part Google+ panel for students and employers from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. PST to help both sides learn about the future of the social media industry and how students can succeed in the field. The panel will include some of the country’s leading digital marketing experts, including:

  • Nando Rodriguez, Senior Social Media Recruiter for North America and Charlene Narcelles, Talent Acquisition Manager for North America at Olgivy and Mather and co-founders of InterviewingU
  • Amanda Pirtle, Director of University Relations and Emily Cloud, Marketing Associate at Nestlé Purina
  • Will Houghteling, Education and Community Partnerships Lead at Google+
  • Thomas Knolls, CEO of ClippPR, former Community Architect at Zappos

Nathan ParcellsI’ve interviewed Nathan Parcells, InternMatch’s Chief Marketing Officer to find out what the end of the Cover Letter is all about, you can read it here:

What’s wrong with the cover letter? Why does it need to “be killed”?

This mandatory piece of candidate hiring material is an increasingly bland way for allowing candidates to showcase their experiences, skills, and education to employers. At a glance, most cover letters are identical — this certainly isn’t an accurate depiction of an employer’s talent pool.

The retirement of the cover letter is necessary due to the fact that online platforms and newer marketing techniques can provide candidates with a more accurate representation of previous experiences and skill sets. This is especially true for positions and fields that require internship and job candidates to showcase their ability to thrive in an innovative, creative, and digitally focused environment. The traditional cover letter doesn’t allow for candidates to readily show this type of mandatory know-how.

How have the needs of companies changed so that companies no longer find value in a cover letter?

Gone are the days when long-winded cover letters and print resumes effectively showcased the experiences and skills of internship and job applicants. Companies sometimes receive hundreds or even thousands of cover letters and resumes for each position — making the hiring process both time-consuming and costly.

Today, the hiring process requires speed and accuracy. Employers need potential intern and job candidates to quickly and creatively demonstrate their ability to impact the company. Many companies are also taking a turn toward providing more online-focused products and services, making it necessary for potential candidates showcase their digital aptitude earlier in the hiring process.

In your campaign, “kill the cover letter” you have candidates post tweets to their favorite companies. What are some things candidates can say in 140 characters to separate themselves from the crowd?

Aside from providing direct links to their resume and online portfolio, intern candidates can stand out to the participating companies by thinking outside the box to display their personality traits and experience.

We ask candidates to tweet the employers they’re interested in with a list of three attributes that make them a great candidate. Rather than just rambling off key strengths, ‘Kill The Cover Letter’ candidates should only inform employers of the attributes that make them the best match for the values, mission, and culture of the company.

Candidates are also asked to use a picture to represent what they can bring to the table during their internship. This is the time for creative candidates to provide a completely out-of-the-box approach to showing off what they have to offer.  

Do you see these alternatives to cover letters catching on mainstream? Why?

As companies transform, hiring methods must also follow suit. Non-traditional methods of hiring — social media challenges and creative applications — are becoming increasingly popular as companies look for new ways to recruit and hire the top talent within their industries.

More innovative and digitally-forward companies were the first to jump on the bandwagon, but it’s only a matter of time before more traditional companies and industries will put an end to the cover letter and the standard hiring process in an attempt improve their hiring methods.

How does this kind of social media application help employers find better candidates faster?

Social media applications allow employers to cut down on the time they spend reading long-winded cover letters and humdrum print resumes. Many companies use cover letters and resumes as a screening step in the hiring process.

Why not eliminate this step altogether and move to using a process that is a better indicator of how successful a candidate will be in their given role? This will save employers time, money, and more quickly showcase which candidates have what it takes to make it in the position and overall company.

What can a candidate do to apply?

Interested candidates should start by exploring the website, social media feeds, and listed positions of the companies participating in ‘Kill The Cover Letter’ to get a feel for their team and culture. Using Twitter and #killthecoverletter, intern candidates can apply to as many employers as they’d like by by sending each of the following items below as a tweet to the employers they want to work for:

  • A link to your resume/online portfolio
  • A link to your favorite blog with an explanation
  • A list of the three attributes that make you a great candidate
  • Link to a picture that best represents what you can bring to the table
  • Anything else that is relevant and exciting for employers to know about you!