New Academic Research on Employer Preferences for Resumes and Cover Letters


In the June 1, 2009, Business Communication Quarterly, (Vol. 72, No. 2, pages 163-176), authors Nancy M. Schullery, Linda Ickes, and Stephen E. Schullery, report on survey results on “Employer Preferences for Résumés and Cover Letters.” Here’s the abstract of their article:
This article reports the results of a survey of employers’ preferences for résumé style, résumé delivery method, and cover letters. Employers still widely prefer the standard chronological résumé, with only 3 percent desiring a scannable résumé. The vast majority of employers prefer electronic delivery, either by email (46 percent) or at the company’s Web site (38 percent), with only 7 percent preferring a paper copy. Cover letters are preferred by a majority (56 percent). Preferences regarding résumé style and cover letters were independent of national (USA) vs. multinational geographic range, company size, type of industry, or respondent’s job function. Smaller companies prefer résumé delivery by email, and human resources workers prefer delivery using the company’s Web site.
Keep in mind that academic research is often outdated because the publication cycle is so long; this abstract does not state when the survey research was conducted. You can access the full article in a library or an academic library database.