Resume Statistics: Cover Letters and Common Mistakes in 2022

Job hunts tend to be frustrating, challenging, and nerve-racking most of the time. Whether you are searching for your first job ever, pivoting, or somewhere in between, it’s the looming uncertainty that crushes your spirit and makes the experience even harder. How do you stand out from the crowd and beat the competition? Check our resume statistics and get the insight you need to stay away from the most common resume mistakes

Top Resume Statistics: Editor’s Choice

  • A resume longer than 2 pages is a no-no for 17% of hiring managers. 
  • 75% of hiring managers have caught a lie on a resume. 
  • Over half of employers will reject a candidate if their resume is full of cliches. 
  • Over a quarter of recruiters consider a cover letter a must-have. 
  • More than 40% of job seekers lie about their previous role in a business. 
  • A third of job seekers lie about previous achievements.  

General Statistics About Resumes

1. Having an unprofessional email address is a deal-breaker for 35% of employers. 

Out of all the things that can go south, this is perhaps the first red flag for recruiters. Employers will just ditch your resume if your email address is funny or shady. The perfect resume starts with a professional email address, i.e. one consisting of your name and surname, or a variation of it. 

2. According to statistics about resumes, a resume longer than two pages is a huge no-no for 17% of hiring managers. 

Having an extensive job history is great, but if that history exceeds those two pages, it means it’s time for you to put on your editor’s cap and start cutting out unimportant job experiences. What you should have inside is only the experience relevant to the job position you apply for. 

3. 91% of recruiters say soft skills matter as much as hard skills in the hiring process. 

A LinkedIn study showed that teamwork, leadership, collaboration, creativity, and communication are equally important to employers when hiring. LinkedIn’s resume statistics say that employers also value work flexibility (72%), respecting anti-harassment policies (71%), and pay transparency (53%). 

4. 50% of employers know if a person is a good fit for their company within the first five minutes. 

This goes beyond having a professional resume. Having a professional attitude, making eye contact, smiling, being calm instead of fidgety, offering a handshake that is neither too weak nor too strong, not overdoing it with the hand gestures, not having a bad posture, or having your arms crossed over your chest also play an important part in the hiring process, facts about resumes and job interview statistics show. 

5. One job opening attracts an average of 250 resumes.  

Take recent grads into consideration, people trying to change careers, and people who already work but want to explore other opportunities, and it’s no wonder job search stats point to this figure. Due to the COVID-induced situation, the number of resumes per job opening is undergoing a steady increase.

Statistics on Resumes Mistakes

6. Lying on resume statistics show a whopping 75% of hiring managers have caught a lie on a resume. 

Ouch, right? Nothing hurts like this one. Instead of lying, try highlighting your strengths, supercharging your resume with words like created, led, managed, and implemented, and crafting a bulletproof cover letter that will target the position you apply for.

7. 77% of recruiters will disqualify you if they notice a mistake on your resume. 

Common resume mistakes like putting the wrong date on the resume, having spelling mistakes, bad grammar, or a typo in your resume are just unprofessional, and hiring managers who spend less than a minute checking resume data will immediately catch those. Have another set of eyes look at your resume and double proofread it yourself. 

8. Statistics on resume inaccuracy show that over 50% of employers will reject an applicant if their resume is full of cliches. 

Some phrases like I work well under pressure; I am a team player; I am enthusiastic and hardworking won’t convince employers. They stumble upon those cliches in every resume they go through. Provide actual examples of what you’ve done so far, instead of using filler phrases, and you’ll avoid one of the most common resume errors

9. More than 40% of recruiters will skip a resume if it’s funky or inconsistent. 

Recruiters are put off by “stylish” borders, illegible fonts, style or font inconsistency, or emojis in your resume. All these fall under the terrible resumes category. Pictures are also unnecessary, according to hiring statistics

10. According to Checkster’s resume statistics, 78% of people lied about their skills. 

The study showed that the majority of people insert skills they don’t really have or falsely claim mastery of programs like Excel, some foreign language, or even a project management platform

11. 33% of job seekers say they achieved things they didn’t on their resume. 

A lot of candidates stretch the truth by saying they completed a course, lived in a foreign country for a year, or participated in an exchange program when in fact they never did. By asking meticulous questions, most recruiters will pin down those candidates that want to land a job by lying. 

12. 50% of job seekers will say they were working at a company longer than they did, according to Checkster’s statistics about resumes

Three years sounds different from 3 months, right? Half of job seekers stretch the duration of previous employment to avoid shameful or overly personal questions and hide employment gaps. 

13. 39% of people say they graduated from a prestigious university when they had only taken an online class.

An online class, a seminar, or having attended a lecture by some of the professors is enough for job seekers to claim they have graduated from a top university, according to resume statistics. Then, 40% of people say they’ve earned a degree from a prestigious university when actually, they were a few credits short.

14. More than 40% of people lie about their previous role. 

41% of candidates would say they were the manager, even if they were just the supervisor. The same goes for those who were actual managers—41% would say they were the director in their previous company. 

Cover Letter Statistics

15. 26% of recruiters consider cover letters to be a must-have in the decision-making process.

Recruiters do not skip or glance over cover letters, and why would they, when they show how the candidate’s unique talents, skills, and experience make them the right fit for the job placement. They link the candidate’s experience, education, personal interest in the position, and they explain potential gaps if any. 

16. 49% of employers believe a cover letter is the best way to enhance your resume, but only 47% of applicants provide it. 

According to cover letter statistics, 6 out of 10 applicants don’t provide a cover letter, but almost half of employers agree that the resume is just the timeline; it’s the cover letter that makes the difference.

17. A whopping 72% of hiring managers expect a cover letter, even if it’s optional. 

And 77% of recruiters will give preference to a candidate who submitted a cover letter alongside their resume. Optional or not, always submit it, especially if that’s your dream job. It won’t take you more than half an hour to prepare it. 

18. According to resume online submission statistics, 49% of employers prefer the cover letter written in the email body.

It’s time-saving and practical. 42% of recruiters prefer the cover letter attached as a separate document, while 36% will read it before the resume. 37% will read the resume first, and 27% will have no particular order. 

19. 60% of employers pay attention to whether the cover letter has been customized to the job vacancy.

Submitting a generic cover letter suggesting you are willing to work any job, not that particular position you apply for, is a huge red flag for hiring managers. Adapt, customize, personalize. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How many pages should a resume be?

If it’s your first job, your resume should not exceed one page. Otherwise, a resume should not be longer than 2 pages. 

How bad is a typo in a resume?

Resume statistics say that 77% of recruiters will disqualify you if they notice a spelling mistake on your resume. So, make sure you check your resume spelling before you send it out to your prospective employer. 

How many jobs should I list on my resume?

You don’t have to list all your jobs on your resume, but you do need to include all those relevant to the job placement you are applying for. 

Should I list all jobs on my resume?

You should include only the jobs relevant for the vacancy you apply for, but make sure your resume does not exceed 2 pages. If it does, most recruiters will not finish reading it. 

Why is a resume important?

So hiring managers can determine your qualifications and eligibility for the job position. Resume online submission statistics further show that a resume accompanied by a strong cover letter is your best bet in getting a job. 

How can you quantify your resume?

Show some numbers. Estimate how many calls, clients, or projects you can take up. Help recruiters see how the company can profit from hiring you. 

Are infographic resumes good or bad?

They are certainly stylish and illustrative, but most employers dread creative resumes with funky fonts, snazzy borders, or illegible fonts. A neat, professional resume is better. 

What is the best measurement of the effectiveness of a resume?

Adapting your resume to each job and simplicity. Nothing can replace a simple, neat, yet cohesive resume following a consistent, uncluttered style and format. 

Should I include phone numbers on my resume?

Yes. Contact information like a phone number and email address is an absolute must, so hiring managers get in touch with you.

What should you save your resume as?

It would be best to save your resume either as a PDF, so recruiters can read your resume in the same format you sent it. 

What are the common mistakes of a resume?

Facts about resumes say that including obvious skills, embellishing your resume with unnecessary details, putting in too much fluff when describing your job responsibilities, and submitting resumes with bad spelling puts employers off. 

What are the 4 types of resumes?

Resumes can be chronological, functional, target, and combination. The chronological format is the most popular type of resume format. 

What is the best resume format?

The best resume format is the reverse chronological format i.e. presenting job experiences in reverse chronological order, starting from the most recent. 

What are the red flags in a resume?

According to resume statistics, some of the biggest red flags are huge employment gaps and holding a job for a short period. These two things point to a potentially unstable or troublesome candidate or one that’s not serious about work. 

What is an F-pattern resume? 

The F-pattern resume makes content on the top left visually stand out from the rest of the information and will be read first.  

What percentage of jobs require a resume?

Only 40% of jobs require a resume, the rest are found through networking, not online.


Well, that’s all we had in store for you! We truly hope these resume statistics have put things into perspective — what to include, what to avoid, etc. One thing remains certain: tweaking your resume to every job, providing only relevant information, and boosting your application with a cover letter are the be-all and end-all in the hiring process. Combined, these three factors will bullet-proof your chances of landing a job.


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