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This article reports on the experimentation of the effectiveness of using cover letters when applying for jobs. It can often be difficult to navigate the job market, especially for people who are looking for entry level positions after obtaining their undergraduate degree. Through applying to jobs using resumes from students from the recent graduates of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), we applied to jobs in some of the major metropolitan areas in the United States: Huntsville, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; St. Louis, Missouri; Seattle, Washington; and Washington D.C. The resumes and cover letters were edited to include false names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Once this process was completed, we applied to several jobs in the corresponding areas half with no cover letter and half with a cover letter, applying to the same jobs with different applicants. Effectiveness of the cover letters was judged based on how many responses were received from potential employers, and whether they wanted to schedule an interview with the applicant. The experiment has not yet yielded results, but based on the literature review, we expect that the applicants who used cover letters will receive more responses than those who did not.
Research and Creative Experience for Undergraduates (RCEU)
College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Underwood, Alexis, "Do Cover Letters Increase the Number of Call Backs Received? A Pilot Experiment" (2023). Summer Community of Scholars Posters (RCEU and HCR Combined Programs). 438.