40+ Cover Letter Statistics, Facts & Trends [2024]

December 24, 2023 0 Comments

In the recent application you sent, was it mentioned that a cover letter is optional? But is it really?

Do you think your recruiters are going to read your clever letter?

83% of HR pros admitted that cover letters are important for hiring decisions.

Even 79% of companies who said submitting a cover letter is optional, read cover letters they received.

As 84% of hiring managers read 50% to 100% of your cover letters, it is crucial to write a good one. 

Here we have curated the hows and whys of a cover letter with the latest statistics and job market trends.

Top Cover Letter Statistics: Editor’s Pick

36% of recruiters spend only 30 seconds on a cover letter
  1. 83% of recruiters agree that attaching a cover letter with a job application is crucial. [1]
  2. 60% of companies admitted that they require a cover letter for analyzing candidates. [3]
  3. 87% of hiring managers admitted to reading cover letters. [6]
  4. 72% of companies expect candidates to submit a cover letter even if it is mentioned as optional. [1]
  5. The most preferred length of cover letters is about 400 words. [9]
  6. It is essential to write an informative and attention-seeking introduction, as 41% of hiring managers consider it the most important part of a cover letter. [9]
  7. Small-size companies are least likely to require a cover letter. [3]
  8. While 6% of hiring managers said a cover letter is ‘not important for them at all’ for calling an applicant for an interview. [1]

Importance of Cover Letter in Hiring

Are cover letters necessary in 2024? Do you need one?

A big YES!!! 

83% of recruiters agree that attaching a cover letter with a job application is crucial. [1]

Wondering Why?

A cover letter allows you to prove that you are fit for the job role and company. It boosts your chances of getting hired.

83% of HR pros admitted that cover letters are important for hiring decisions. [1]

According to 25% of hiring managers a cover letter is ‘very important’ when deciding to call an applicant for an interview. [1]

While 6% of hiring managers said a cover letter is ‘not important for them at all’ for calling an applicant for an interview. [1]

importance of a cover letter to call applicant for an interview

Does Your Industry Require a Cover Letter?

60% of companies admitted that they require a cover letter for analyzing candidates. [3]

Is your industry/company one of them?

72% of medium-sized companies expect cover letters from applicants. [3]

69% of large-size companies are more likely to require a cover letter. [3]

Small-size companies are least likely to require a cover letter. [3]

Only 48% of tech giants require a cover letter from applicants, while 55% of medium-sized tech companies require cover letters. [2]

65% of tech startups need a cover letter to evaluate applicants. [2]

Do Recruiters Read Your Cover Letters?

Yes!

 About half of recruiters read every cover letter they receive. [5]

78% of recruiters like that applicants have submitted a cover letter. [5]

87% of hiring managers admitted to reading cover letters. [6]

59% of recruiters read cover letters to thoroughly know applicants, while 22% of recruiters read cover letters out of habit. [6]

Even 79% of companies who said submitting a cover letter is optional, read cover letters they received. [1]

72% of companies expect candidates to submit a cover letter even if it is mentioned as optional. [1]

According to a survey conducted by ResumeGenius, 83% of hiring managers confirmed they frequently or always read cover letters. [3]

How much time do recruiters spend reading cover letters?

On average, 48% of recruiters spend 30 seconds to 2 minutes reading a cover letter. [3]

While 15% of recruiters will spend over 2 minutes reading a cover letter, About 36% of recruiters spend only 30 seconds on a cover letter. [3]

58% of cover letters are set aside because they have typos

Common Cover Letter Mistakes Statistics

Why are you lagging?

  • 58% of cover letters are set aside because they have typos. [7]
  • 27% of applicants do not make it to the interview because they didn’t attach any specific details of past company, or backed employment experience with exact dates and proofs. [7]
  • 35% of cover letters are rejected because they do not have a list of skills. [7]
  • 90% of cover letters are rejected because of lack of customization according to the job post. [7]

Purpose of Cover Letter Statistics

1 purpose of a cover letter is to provide additional information

According to almost all recruiters, the number one purpose of a cover letter is to provide additional information and context about candidates, and why he/she is applying for the role. [3]

For medium-sized companies with 100 to 1000 employees, the cover letter is an opportunity for applicants to show their personality. [3]

For small companies with 100 or fewer employees, a cover letter serves as a medium to demonstrate why an applicant is the right fit for the position. [3]

Resume vs Cover Letter Statistics

Do you think both are similar? What’s the difference?!

Both cover letters are different and have different benefits, So, should be written differently. 

It has been reported that 45% of recruiters read a cover letter before a resume. [4]

Only some specific sections of the resume are reviewed by recruiters. [4]

99.8% of resumes have personal information (like contact, residence, educational background, etc), about candidates, so, it can be skipped in the cover letters. [4]

Cover Letter Customization Statistics

27% of hiring managers believe customization of a cover letter is extremely important, while 5% believe it is not that important. [8]

Customizing cover letters according to the requirements mentioned in the job posting is important, especially for medium and large-sized companies. [8]

Most preferred cover letters are in PDF formats and the least preferred are paper documents in the mail. [3]

Confused about what you should write in a cover letter and what is skippable?

  • According to 63% of recruiters, candidates should mention their motivation to join the company in the cover letter. [1]
  • 50% of hiring managers said it is important to outline your career objective. [1]
  • 49% of recruiters believe candidates should explain why there is a gap in their past employment, if any. [1]
  • 47% of recruiters admitted applicants should write about their achievements and attach proofs. [1]
  • 50% of recruiters expect candidates to mention their experience and why they are changing jobs or careers. [1]

The Hows of Your Next Cover Letter

Want to write a cover letter that can get you the job? 

Here we have curated key cover letter statistics that impressed recruiters.

31% of male and 22% of female hiring managers believe that it’s very important to customize salutations for cover letters. [9]

Recruiters said, ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ is the most preferred, and ‘Dear [Job Title]’ is the least preferred non-personalized salutation. [9]

The most preferred length of cover letters is about 400 words. [9]

It is essential to write an informative and attention-seeking introduction, as 41% of hiring managers consider it the most important part of a cover letter. [9]

which section of a cove letter is more likely to impress recruiters

FAQs

What is the most important part of a cover letter that is approved by hiring managers?

According to 41% of hiring managers, a well-written introduction makes the most impact on them. Next is the line is a well-framed and explained body. (21%).

How much time do recruiters spend reading cover letters?

On average, 48% of recruiters spend 30 seconds to 2 minutes reading a cover letter. While 15% of recruiters will spend over 2 minutes reading a cover letter. About 37% of recruiters spend 30 seconds on a cover letter.

Why are cover letters important?

83% of recruiters agree that attaching a cover letter with a job application is crucial, As a cover letter allows you to prove that you are fit for the job role and company. It boosts your chances of getting hired.

Take Away 

Recruiters prefer candidates who have attached a good cover letter with their application compared to those who don’t. Irrespective of the industry and job role, it is vital to submit a cover letter explaining your experience, motivation, and intention for the job and company.

Avoiding simple mistakes like typos, exaggeration, fancy language, messing up the format, and writing an informative cover letter while maintaining crisp language makes you stand out.

Recruiters tend to like candidates who customize their cover letter according to job requirements and elaborate on why they are the best fit for the position.

Sources

  1. ResumeLab. Is a Cover Letter Necessary in 2024? Do I Need a Cover Letter?
  2. Ladders. Do cover letters still matter? Here’s what the data shows 
  3. ResumeGenius. Cover letter statistics
  4. Team Stage. Resume Statistics: Cover Letters and Common Mistakes in 2023
  5. GetCoverLetter. HR statistics you need to know for 2023
  6. ResumeGo. Cover letters: Just how important are they?
  7. The Undercover Recruiter. Top Resume Mistakes That Could Cost You the Job
  8. Career Sidekick. How Many Interviews For One Job? (Stats From a Recruiter)
  9. Yahoo Finance. Cover Letters Can Increase Chances of Getting the Job

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