Avoid These Five Cover Letter Mistakes

Nancy Anderson
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Your cover letter is the first impression you make on a potential employer, so you need to make sure it's a good one. If you want to stand out from the rest of the candidates and avoid getting your cover letter and resume thrown in the trash, stay away from these five common mistakes that many job seekers tend to make.

Fail to Research the Company

Employers are seeking candidates who are well-informed about the company's mission, goals and products. Show that you have researched the ins and outs of the business when writing your cover letter. Detail some accomplishments of the company that you find impressive, and show how your skills and experience can contribute to the company's success.

Bore the Hiring Manager

Your cover letter needs to be engaging and interesting. Hiring managers read through hundreds of applications when screening candidates. Make your letter stand out from the rest by crafting an introduction that goes beyond standard templates and is personalized for each new position you are applying for. Finally, avoid including unnecessary information that is already on your resume.

Ignore Required Qualifications

The key to a successful cover letter is to match your skills to the desired qualifications noted in the job description. Don't ignore what the company is looking for in applicants during your job search. Use keywords from the job description, and highlight how your skills match what the company is seeking in a candidate. However, if you clearly don't have what the company requires, such as proficiency in using a specific software, don't bother applying.

Sound Needy or Unsure

Showing enthusiasm is important in a cover letter, but if you overdo it, you may sound needy or even desperate. Avoid phrases such as "I'll take any position with your company," or worse yet, "I really need this job" and "Please hire me." Another mistake is to sound insecure, as in "Please contact me if you find my qualifications meet your requirements." Show confidence instead with phrases such as "I am confident that I am an excellent candidate for this position" or "I look forward to speaking with you about how I can help advance the success of your company."

Prompt the Employer to Investigate

Employers are usually not very keen on having to get back to you for more information. Provide the details the employer needs, such as references, directly in the cover letter, as opposed to noting that references are available upon request. Make it easy for hiring managers to access your professional credentials by providing links to online portfolios and professional social media accounts.

To score an interview and, ultimately, receive a job offer, you need to present yourself in a professional and memorable manner. A well-written and engaging cover letter could be your ticket into the company of your dreams, so do your research, impress the hiring manager and make it easy for him to check your references by including them directly in your letter or resume.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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