Survey: Cover Letters Still Valuable in Hiring Process

Menlo Park, Calif. — Feb. 14

Think cover letters are out of date when applying for a position? Think again, a new survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests.

More than 91 percent of executives polled said cover letters are still valuable when evaluating job candidates. In addition, nearly 79 percent of respondents indicated it’s common to receive cover letters even when applicants submit resumes electronically. The results mirror those from a similar survey conducted in 2008.

The survey, developed by staffing services firm OfficeTeam, was conducted by an independent research company and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.

Managers were asked, “When evaluating prospective job candidates, how valuable is the cover letter that accompanies the resume?”

Their responses:

• Very valuable: 21 percent.
• Somewhat valuable: 70 percent.
• Not valuable at all: 9 percent.

Managers also were asked, “When you receive a resume electronically from a job candidate, how common is it for that resume to be accompanied by a letter of introduction or cover letter?”

Their responses:

• Very common: 21 percent.
• Somewhat common: 58 percent.
• Not common at all: 16 percent.
• Never receive resumes electronically: 5 percent.

Source: OfficeTeam