More often than not, applicants mistake the cover letter as a formality but it actually can be used as a great selling tool. We’re sure you have heard the old saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” whether it is a good or bad one will depend on you.
The cover letter is often your first impression on an employer and many times it is viewed before the resume. Your cover letter and resume should compliment each other, as it is part of your entire package. You can ensure you put yourself in a position to separate yourself from the pile of applicants by intriguing the reader (hiring manager) and not making these common mistakes on your cover letter:
- Mistake #1: Using a Weak Opening.
The cover letter is an opportunity to sell YOU. Tell your story by grabbing the reader’s attention with an opening that has punch.
- Mistake #2: Omitting Your Top Selling Points.
Convince the reader why you are qualified for the position and should be called for an interview. Emphasize how your top accomplishments match up with qualifications and experience required from the job posting.
- Mistake #3: Making It Too Long.
Cover letters should be one page or less. Be brief, be brilliant, and be respectful of the reader’s time.
- Mistake #4: Repeating Your Resume Word for Word.
Your cover letter shouldn’t repeat verbatim what’s on your resume. Take the time to reword statements and give the reader something different. Tell a brief story perhaps
- Mistake #5: Forgetting to Customize.
Often, applicants use the same cover letter template for multiple positions. It can be a huge turn off if you forget to tweak and customize the cover letter for that specific job. Even worse, if your cover letter has the wrong company, address, or contact information on it.
- Mistake #6: Addressing To Whom It May Concern.
Do not address the cover letter “To Whom It May Concern” it is outdated and can be taken as an insult. Do your homework and find out who the hiring manger is to personalize the cover letter to them or simply address it to “The Hiring Manager.”