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Cover Letters…Do we Need Them?

Cover Letter

The answer is yes you should be sending a tailored cover letter out with every job application. Getting your cover letter right is a crucial step in applying for any job. Too many people fail to understand the importance of a cover letter thinking that they can write one letter and use it for all their job applications without any amendment. WRONG!

Know about cover letter

A good cover letter should include you doing some research about the company you are applying to so that you know about their products and services, their vision, their attitudes and the role they are looking to fill. The more you know the better you can genuinely demonstrate your interest in them. This is solid ground for enthusiastically claiming that you are a good fit for their culture. Of course you need also to highlight the skills and special qualities you bring to the position and that in turn you are the right person for the job.

 Top 10 resume mistakes to avoid:

  • Typos and grammatical errors- Typos and grammatical errors are a really easy way to land your application in the “no” pile in a flash.
  • Writing too much- Today, gatekeepers (recruiters and hiring managers) do not have the resources or time to read each candidate’s resume and multi-page cover letter. Where possible, stick to one page unless asked to supply more. Hiring Managers are time poor; have short attention spans with less time to dedicate to read each and every cover letter in full. Write a compelling letter with bullet points to draw the eye in to the important bits.
  • Addressing the letter to the wrong person- There’s absolutely no excuse for addressing your cover letter to the wrong person. If no name is provided, do what you can to find out the name of the HR Manager or Manager. Your letter will stand out against the others addressed to Dear Sir/Madam. Another option is to omit that part completely and list your name and targeted position.
  • Not tailoring the cover letter to the company or job you’re applying to– The hiring manager will know instantly if you’re using a generic, ‘one size fits all’ cover letter and they won’t be impressed. You must customise each cover letter targeting the specified job description. Whilst it’s ok to use a master cover letter or template to draft your letter, you must remember to tailor it.
  • Forgetting to replace a company name or job title- If you’re applying for job after job and tailoring your cover letter to each one (like you should be!) you may find yourself replacing words, names, and titles — rather than rewriting your cover letter from scratch over and over again — to save time. But be very careful when you do this. If you forget to replace the company name or job title, this will be a huge turn off to the employer you send it to and it will stand out for all the wrong reasons.
  • Being too modest- While you don’t want to be too modest, you also don’t want to come off as arrogant. It can be easy or tempting to go overboard boasting about how smart or talented you are in your cover letter—But don’t! Instead, stay focused on your fact-based achievements and tone it down on the superlatives. Motivate with a balanced approach and let the reader figure out on their own just how fabulous you really are.
  • Lying– This is pretty obvious — but don’t fib. Ever! It doesn’t help anyone, and Hiring Managers will find out eventually.
  • Listing references– Save the references for the interview process. The cover letter is no place to start listing references or snippets from your latest review. These names may have meaning to you, but to the hiring leader, these are unknown entities and they’re simply a waste of space on your letter. 

Total Resumes provide tailored cover letters that will make you stand out from the crowd. Contact Carolyn today or check out our services page.

Author Carolyn Whitfield

6X TORI-Winning, Multi-Certified Resume Master & Coach ★ 12+ Yrs Expertise ★ 98% Client Interview-Winning Success Rate. As an executive resume expert who has carved a strong reputation in the resume industry, I’ve helped thousands of rising stars and executives worldwide ascend to the next step on the career ladder.

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