iHire Finds Cover Letters Important to Hiring Professionals

iHire today shared the results of its Value of a Cover Letter Survey, showing that 65.3% of hiring professionals and recruiters still believe cover letters are important to their recruitment processes.

However, if given the choice, 65.3% of respondents would prefer to use pre-screening questions over cover letters to learn more about candidates – a testament to how busy HR managers have become as millions of unemployed Americans look to return to the workforce in the wake of COVID-19.

Additional survey findings include:

  • 3% of respondents said they expect to receive a cover letter even if their job posting indicates that it is optional.
  • 3% of employers want candidates to customize their cover letters for the specific position for which they are applying.
  • 5% of respondents always read cover letters if the candidate includes one.
  • 7% of hiring professionals said that cover letters are more important when hiring for higher-level positions.

“Cover letters haven’t gone out of style, and iHire encourages both employers and job seekers to continue to include them in their hiring processes and applications, respectively,” said Steve Flook, iHire’s President and CEO. “However, we’re finding that shorter, personalized cover letters are becoming more effective in differentiating candidates than traditional, formal cover letters of the pre-internet age. When you have just seconds to impress a busy recruiter, a quick but well-written blurb can set you apart from other applicants and land you more interviews.”

iHire conducted its Value of a Cover Letter Survey in December 2020 and received responses from 603 U.S. hiring managers and recruiters across 56 industries. To learn more, download iHire’s Value of a Cover Letter infographic.


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