Pre-Pandemic Versus Now: TopResume Survey Reveals What Recruiters Really Care About

New Data Says Hiring Managers Care Less About Employment Gaps, More About Cover Letters and Thank-You Notes

NEW YORK (October 20, 2020) — TopResume, the world's largest resume-writing service, today announced its latest survey results, revealing that U.S. hiring professionals are focused on different key factors when considering job seekers amid the pandemic. Between August 26 and September 4, 2020, TopResume asked 334 recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers from across the country to share their opinions on previous deal-breakers. In summary, recruiters admitted caring less about employment gaps, and more about cover letters and thank-you notes than before the COVID-19 crisis.

When provided with the statement, "I'm now more likely to read cover letters than before the pandemic," nearly half agreed (48 percent) and one-third were neutral (34 percent), whereas only a minority (18 percent) disagreed. Historically, career experts have urged job seekers to write cover letters, even though they also acknowledged only a 50 percent chance of them being read. However, TopResume's new data demonstrates a growing importance of writing a thoughtful cover letter that is tailored to the job description and requirements.

“Undeniably, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the hiring process for both job seekers and recruiters, alike, which our data confirms by uncovering what's newly important in one's candidacy,” said Amanda Augustine, TopResume's career expert, a certified professional career coach (CPCC) and certified professional resume writer (CPRW). “Our findings reveal that job seekers may be taking themselves out of the running even before — or right after — the virtual interview because they're ignoring the key factors to which recruiters are suddenly paying attention.”

Furthermore, when presented with the statement, “A candidate's thank-you email/note (or lack thereof) takes on greater importance when evaluating a candidate," an overwhelming majority (68 percent) agree that the interview thank-you has become more significant, one-fifth (20 percent) are neutral on the topic, and a mere 12 percent disagree.

In addition, when hiring professionals were asked to identify which skills, if any, have taken on greater importance since the pandemic, the following surfaced as the top five (in descending order):

  • Adaptability & Flexibility

  • Communication

  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

  • Collaboration & Teamwork

  • Time Management

Perhaps the most encouraging data from TopResume's survey is that employment gaps no longer signify the shameful alarm as in previous times. When asked, “Do you now view candidates being unemployed and/or having an employment gap lasting more than three months as a red flag?” an astounding 87 percent were unfazed by an inconsistent work history and only 13 percent said there's still a stigma attached to unemployment or a lengthy employment gap.

On an ongoing basis, the data science team at Talent Inc., the global leader in technology-enabled career services and also the parent company of TopResumeTopInterview, and TopCV, compiles nationwide data from their customers to better understand current behavioral trends in the job market. Visit TopResume's Career Advice blog to see their latest tips for coaching job seekers through their search.

Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf
  • About TopResume

    TopResume, a Talent Inc. company, is the world’s premier resume-writing service, analyzing millions of resumes and LinkedIn profiles each year. Job seekers work directly with professional writers and industry experts to redefine their personal brand and stand out from the crowd during the job-search process. Follow TopResume on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Media inquiries

Lisa Hagendorf