Imagine this; you’ve been working extensively on your resume highlighting your accomplishments with no grammatical errors with a strategic structure to be chosen for that interview you’ve been dying for.
Then you send the resume with your cover letter and unlike the resume, the cover letter doesn’t come close to the quality of the resume. You may think recruiters don’t read cover letters but most do. And right after the recruiter has been impressed by your resume, the cover letter hits them! Now your resume goes to the trash bin.
Preparing a well written cover letter gives you the advantage of being taken seriously as the professional in transition that you are.
Here are six mistakes to avoid when creating your cover letter:
- Wrong format – instead of cut and paste an email make sure you are using the standard business-letter format. It should include the date, your name and address, recipient’s name and address, greeting salutation and signature block.
- Focused all on you – instead of keep highlighting yourself, convince the reader why they should grant you an interview. Show what you have to offer based on the employer’s needs and job requirements.
- One cover letter does not fit all jobs – customize your cover letter to each employer’s needs based on the job you are applying for. Employers can tell if you’ve used the same cover letter and will think you are not serious about the job opportunity they offer.
- Writing a book – do not ramble on about yourself, keep the cover letter to one page and focus on highlighting 2 or 3 areas in which you can add value to the employer.
- Leaving it open ended – it is your responsibility to follow up relating to your job search therefore explain how will you do so and provide the professional courtesy of indicating when (one week’s time is acceptable).
- Not sending a cover letter – some job seekers may send written notes or a two sentence note with “here is my resume”. Take the time to format it properly with reasons why you should be considered for the job from the employer’s perspective.
A proper cover letter will make you stand out from other candidates. Does your cover letter avoid the mistakes stated above? Let CareerSource Southwest Florida help you with career advice and tips on your job search.
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