Resume Statistics: Cover Letters and Common Mistakes in 2022

Competition in the job market is robust, which is why you will need a solid resume and cover letter to get noticed. Resumes and cover letters are the foundation of any job search. It would also be helpful if the candidate knew how much it costs to hire someone, the average number of applications per job, the keywords that would help them describe their expertise, and how long their resumes should be.

After extensive research, we’ve gathered the most powerful statistics that will help you craft the perfect resume and tap into the professional network much faster.

 

Top Resume Statistics: Editor’s Choice


  • The average resume length is 489 words.
  • The average time spent reading a resume is 6–7 seconds.
  • Around 63% of recruiters like to get resumes personalized to the job position.
  • A shocking 88% of resumes are rejected because of a photo on the resume.
  • Only 2–3% of sent resumes result in an interview.
  • Around 10% of job seekers have applied for 50 or more jobs without hearing back.
  • Only 35% of candidates who apply for a job are qualified.
  • More than 40% of recruiters say that applicants lack the necessary soft skills for the job.

 

Resume Formatting Statistics 


Since recruiters and hiring managers don’t spend much time reading each resume, it’s crucial to build a simple, customized, and easy-to-read resume.  Usually, a single-page resume would be a cutoff point, but if you’re a seasoned worker, you might want to consider crafting a two-page resume.

1. The personal information section is found in 99.85% of resumes. 

Resume statistics for 2022 demonstrate that the skills section is present only in 89.81% of resumes analyzed in a study. However, job seekers love to add other areas as well, including:

  • languages (31%),
  • certificates (27%),
  • additional activities (21%),
  • interests (19%), etc. 

Furthermore, the ideal length of the critical skills section would be 15–20 words.

2. The average resume length is 489 words.

This is a standard deviation of 310 words. The median resume length is 369 words. This means that a typical resume should have a maximum of 380 words. Data indicates that the average job seeker tries to keep their resume one page long.

However, most recruiters nowadays prefer two-page resumes—they are 2.9 times more likely to choose a candidate who sends a two-page resume for managerial positions, while 1.4 times more likely for entry-level positions.

3. The average time spent reading a resume for 2022 is 6–7 seconds.

The amount of time recruiters spend on reading a resume usually depends and varies from company to company. Some companies want to thoroughly scan a resume, while others may skim it for a few seconds. Additionally, the number of job applicants may also affect this assessment.

If there are only a few applicants, the company may thoroughly review each one of them. Still, if there are a lot, the employer may decide to use an automatic resume scanning system for resume analysis or hire another recruiter.

4. The most efficient resume approaches include starting sentences with action verbs (140%).

When a recruiter or hiring manager reviews a resume, candidates have a limited amount of time to make sure they leave a great impression. They often skim through a lot of applications, so it’s prevalent for them to see the standard verbs and words used on most resumes. 

The above resume statistics for 2022 suggest that it’s essential to stand out—and the best way to do that is to include power words (action words) in your resume. You can use them to highlight your skills and experience, which will increase your chances of moving to the next step in the hiring process. 

5. The average time to hire a job applicant worldwide was 38 days in 2018. 

Data for the average time to hire by industry in 2022 is currently not available. However, we found that the average time to fill a position was 36 days in 2017. Each company is different, and they may hire for various roles; therefore, the length of the hiring process will vary.

For example, some industries have long interview processes (government, aerospace and defense, energy and utilities, biotech, and pharmaceuticals). In contrast, restaurants and bars, private security, and supermarkets have the shortest interview processes. 

6. According to job application statistics, 63% of recruiters would like to get resumes personalized to the open position.

Recruiters complain that there aren’t enough suitable candidates for the positions. So, job-seekers don’t customize their resume to match the job ad, sending a generic resume instead. Therefore, it’s best to create a new resume for each job application. 

7. According to CV statistics, 76% of CVs are ignored if candidates have an unprofessional email address.

Sometimes it’s very easy to make mistakes, even after spending hours drafting a flawless CV. If you keep getting rejected by companies, you might need to reassess your CV and look for potential silly mistakes and errors that might affect your job application.

The importance of resumes is immense—your style and tone of writing can play a huge role in why you’re not invited to job interviews. For example, 43% of CVs are excluded because they’re written in the third person or have many spelling or grammatical mistakes. 

8. More than 40% of hiring managers and recruiters reported that applicants lacked the role’s competencies and necessary soft skills.

Resume trends for 2022 suggest that filling your resume with soft skills is one of the most critical trends candidates should pay attention to. HR professionals say that the lack of soft skills makes the recruitment process much more difficult. However, other studies investigate whether this is a skills gap or job seekers cannot communicate their skills effectively.

To prevent this, job seekers should carefully inspect job ads and postings to include the appropriate information to help them land their roles.

 

Resumes and Social Media Statistics


Social media profiles are a vital part of the job application process, especially if the company processes resumes through an ATS system and sends it to a recruiter or hiring manager. Therefore, social media profiles should be up-to-date and complete because many recruiters use these networks to find new talent.

9. 89% of talent say they’d accept a job offer faster when contacted by a recruiter.

LinkedIn statistics for job seekers also suggest that 94% of them say being contacted by a prospective manager can make them accept a job offer faster. Speed is essential in today’s hiring world, so companies should consider finding ways to speed up their hiring process to keep their best candidates and make them accept their offers quickly. 

Moreover, job seekers are willing to talk to someone besides HR, so companies should consider hiring a recruiter to help candidates accept the position faster. Recruiters can inform them about the job and offer them feedback. 

10. Most recruiters (100%) use LinkedIn to seek job candidates.

Most hiring managers use social media sites to scan the social media pages of their applicants. Some of the most often used platforms are Facebook (75%), Twitter (63%), Instagram (53%), etc. These sites create an online identity, so candidates must have a professional image online to help them stand out when applying for a job.

11. Job searches from mobile devices now exceed 1 billion per month.

With the wide use of mobile devices, mobile recruiting is thriving more than ever before. Almost 90% of job seekers now use a mobile phone when looking for a new opportunity. This has paved the way for several resume trends.

Mobile phones are very convenient to use, so most recruiters and job seekers use them to check emails. The only disadvantage is that it may affect the resume layout, so it’s crucial to make job search tools mobile-friendly.

 

Facts About Resumes


A resume is a formal document that job seekers need to create to land their dream job. This document needs to include a list of qualifications for a specific job role. It is often accompanied by a cover letter in which the candidate emphasizes the essential details of their resume.

Here are some interesting facts about resumes.

12. Around 88% of the resumes are rejected due to a photograph on the resume.

Resume fun facts for 2022 suggest that you are most likely to face rejection if you include a picture of yourself in your resume/CV. But why is this so? According to a job site, The Ladders, a photograph might distract recruiters from the resume’s actual contents.

Their findings suggest that if a resume includes a photo of an applicant, their future employers will be looking at the photograph itself 19% of the time. Considering that recruiters spend only 6–7 seconds per resume, this interesting fact about resumes is quite understandable.

13. Around 75% of companies use ATS (Applicant Tracking Software).

Many companies use an applicant tracking system to screen and filter candidates. Resume facts suggest that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use this bot to select or eliminate candidates. Therefore, candidates should avoid using resume templates available online because they’re most likely to be dismissed by this system.

Your resume must be well optimized and highlight all specific abilities and accomplishments rather than being overly generic to stand out.

 


Cover letters are a vital part of every job search process, so if candidates want to ensure job search success, they need to write them. Most recruiters will usually reject a candidate who hasn’t included a cover letter along with their resume.

14. Cover letter statistics indicate that you’re more likely to be set aside if your cover letter doesn’t include a list of skills (35%)

On the other hand, 36% of resumes are rejected for being too generic, while 32% copy a lot of content from the job description itself. Candidates are also most likely to be dismissed if their cover letter or resume includes typos (58%), doesn’t include exact dates of employment (27%), or is printed on decorative paper (19%).

15. Around 67% of recruiters are looking for job experiences in resumes.

Resume facts indicate that not every detail will matter on your resume. Recruiters review only specific sections and information on a resume. Despite work experience, other areas that recruiters are looking for include: 

  • cultural fit (60%),
  • cover letters (26%),
  • the prestige of college (21%),
  • grade point average (19%).

Additionally, they want a resume for job seekers tailored to the open position, skills set listed first on the resume, and included links to personal blogs, portfolios, or websites.

 

Resume Rejection Statistics


Most companies will scan resumes through an applicant tracking system (ATS) in their hiring process. And unfortunately, most resumes don’t make it to the next stage—being seen by human recruiters. Resumes are most likely to be rejected because of impersonality, no Thank You note, and lack of customization. 

16. Most hiring managers (61%) think that a customized resume can improve their job chances. 

Further statistics about resumes suggest that other strategies include: 

  • attaching a cover letter to the resume (49%),
  • addressing the letter to the hiring manager or recruiter by name (26%),
  • linking to the applicant’s online portfolio, blog, or website (21%).

However, most candidates (90%) apply with their standard resumes without customization. This indicates that a resume will probably be rejected because it’s not customized to the job.

17. Only around 35% of candidates who apply for jobs are qualified for the role.

Resume statistics suggest that for any given job position, there is an average of 118 applicants that apply for the post. But only a tiny percentage of them have the necessary qualifications and skills for the job. This suggests that people should apply for jobs on their level because otherwise, they’re wasting the time of recruiters and HR managers. 

Moreover, it’s important not to lie to get a job interview because lies would probably not work in securing a role.

18. Statistics about resumes suggest that only 2–3% of sent resumes result in an interview.

Considering that the average online job posting gets around 250 resumes, only a small percentage of those candidates get an opportunity for an interview. Most companies interview only or less than ten candidates for a position; however, there are exceptions. 

The chances are higher if a job is not posted online or the candidate found it through networking or talking to the employer directly. Moreover, if someone recommends you to the hiring manager, your chances are more significant. 

19. Around 10% of job seekers have applied for 50 or more jobs without hearing back.

Resume statistics suggest that some people have never heard back after sending their email with a resume attached or online job application. This is a frustrating experience for many job seekers, but it also affects the company’s reputation. However, further studies illustrate that almost 50% of people applying for a given job simply aren’t qualified.

Additionally, most large companies implement talent-management software to screen resumes, removing up to 50% of applications before they even get to a recruiter or HR manager.

 

 Resume Statistics: The Takeaway


As a job seeker, it’s inevitable to have a winning resume to stand out in the job market. Resumes are an integral part of every hiring process—it’s the first thing any employer sees about you.

In a corporate world where most companies use applicant tracking software to screen your resume, it’s essential to learn how to make a great impression. But how can you do that if recruiters do not see your resume first? We hope that the above statistics helped you keep up-to-date with the latest resume requirements when searching for a new job.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


How important is a resume?

A resume is an important document to showcase your top skills and qualities. It serves as a bridge between the job applicant and recruiter, as it’s the top requirement companies request. Why is a resume so important?

A well-structured, clean and precise resume shows self-awareness and professionalism—these things make for a great first impression. This document reaches the recruiter’s office even before you, so it’d do half of the work for you. A resume summarizes your qualifications, skills, and achievements and speaks a great deal about you as a professional. Your resume could also convince prospective recruiters that you’re the most suitable candidate for the position. In addition, the purpose of the resume is to get you an interview. But in today’s market, you need to be careful because many companies use resume-tracking programs. Despite having to impress your future employer, you must find ways to impress the computer as well.  

What do employers look for?

Impressing a future employer doesn’t need to be complicated. However, there are some details that employers look for when hiring employees. Trying to work things out for yourself means that you can easily spend hours or even days, so we reviewed some resume requirements that employers look for.

To make sure your resume matches employers’ expectations, it needs to be written in a reasonably sized, legible font with normal-sized margins. Make it easy for employers to find keywords, job titles, and significant experiences that demonstrate you’re the right fit for the job. Showcase relevant job qualifications and give them a sense of your achievements. Avoid typos, poor word choice, and bragging, and keep formatting consistent throughout the document.

How long do employers look at resumes?

The average recruiter and hiring manager spend about six seconds reading a resume. Not a lot, right? Well, that’s exactly what they do—look at bolded or highlighted words, big titles, dates, and maybe a bit of the actual content. This can be frustrating for many job seekers because they usually spend hours and hours crafting the perfect resume. So, what exactly can you do to stand out?

You’ve got only a few moments to make a lasting impression, so you want to make sure your resume makes it to the next stage. Things like proper formatting, role-appropriateness, evidence of business impact, job history, and complimentary online portfolio matter the most for the first impression.

However, the number of job applicants can also influence the recruiter’s decision. For example, if there are only a few applicants, the recruiter may review all of them in more detail. But if there are many, the company may hire a hiring manager or a resume scanning system.

How should a resume look in 2022?

The path to a new job is paved with a winning resume. However, most job seekers don’t know that a resume design is as important as the content. A great resume stands between your dream job. Here’s how to make sure your resume will get hired managers to invite you to interviews.

Pick the proper format and layout and mention your personal and contact information. Make your header bold and easy-to-read, and choose a clean, reasonably sized font. Put your best content at the top to showcase your most impressive skills and achievements. Personalize your resume, especially the skills section, for every job application you write. Wording your resume precisely is crucial because many companies use ATS systems to scan for keywords and remove unqualified candidates.

Include one page on your resume, even if you have a lot of experience. Double-check that the resume format is consistent because it will help the employer find the information they need. You may include optional information such as an online portfolio, LinkedIn URL, or social media.

We hope that these resume statistics and tips will help you land any job you apply for.


Sources

Best 10 Resume Writers, CareerSideDeck, CIO, FinancesOnline, FinancesOnline, Indeed, LinkedIn, LiveCareer, MyPerfectResume, ResumeShoppe, SmartRecruiters, Statista, The Undercover Recruiter, TwinEmployment, Zety, Zety, Zippia