Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?


Think most hiring managers don’t read cover letters? The perception that cover letters aren’t important anymore is likely fed by the fact that some online job boards don’t have a mechanism for submitting cover letters. But a study by of 290 hiring managers across the U.S. revealed that 66 percent prefer an appropriate cover letter with the resume. Since you don’t know which two-thirds of hiring managers like cover letters and which third don’t, you need to always include a cover letter with your resume. Further breaking down that 66 percent, Wendy Enelow, prolific author of career books, points out that 33 percent of all recipients ALWAYS read the cover letter first; the other 33 percent glance at the cover letter after they’ve read the resume. Therefore, says Enelow, “Your letter must immediately communicate your value to an organization, for you never know which 33 percent will receive it.” For an overall refresher on cover letters, see our Cover Letter Tutorial.