Far Too Many Cover Letters Are Laden with Flaws


In a Wall Street Journal article, writer Joann S. Lublin reported that, according to career coaches, an estimated 85 percent of cover letters are so flawed that senders never land an interview. Interviewing an entrepreneur who had reviewed several hundred thousand cover letters since founding her business in 1983, Lublin discovered that the business owner found not even 1 percent of those letters acceptable. In response to a recent vacancy at the 150-employee firm, about 100 of the 150 job-seekers sent letters. “Two-thirds contained mistakes (including a misspelled current job title),” Lublin reported. “Fifteen applicants addressed the female CEO as ‘Dear Sir.'” Only six cover letters specifically addressed qualifications listed in the ad, and the CEO found only three letters interesting enough to inspire her to read the senders’ resumes. For an overall refresher on cover letters, see our Cover Letter Tutorial.