Newsflash: Your Cover Letter Doesn't Matter

Published: Sep 28, 2015

 Interviewing       Job Search       Resumes & Cover Letters       
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Is crafting the perfect cover letter worth the time and effort you put into it? Not according to research conducted by the Addison Group, which surveyed hiring managers about the factors that are most important to them when assessing candidates. According to that research, just 18%  rank cover letters—or their equally antiquated cousin the thank you note—as important parts in assessing potential candidates.

That's great news for those of us with an instinctive dislike of self-promotion, and for whom the concept of a mandated piece of "proper" job search etiquette such as the thank you note seems downright phony.

So what truly matters in your job search? Your skills and your experience, which 51% and 54% of managers respectively identified as the most important factors on a resume.

But make sure that you're putting down work experience: hiring managers place much more emphasis on that than the school you attended or the volunteer work you've been doing. Those can help, but nothing is going to get you the job like, well, proof that you can do the job.

Before we cut to the infographic from the group, here are a couple of other interesting tidbits to consider:

  • 77% of hiring managers identify the reputation of your previous employer as important.
  • Only 40% of hiring managers place any degree of significance on your GPA.
  • But 55% think that typos are the worst mistake you can make on a resume.

Want to know more? Check out this infographic from the Addison Group. And be sure to let us know your thoughts on any aspect of this in the comments below!

Hiring manager factors