Tag Archives: cover letter

Top 10 Common Cover Letter Mistakes

As part of your job search, you have submitted your resume and cover letter to multiple employers. You are sure you have done a great job. I mean, your resume was impressive. The formatting and content were impeccable. You even had your resume reviewed and edited several times by many different people. So you should be expecting a lot of call backs, right? But somehow, you still end up getting responses from a small percentage of employers and now you are wondering if you did something wrong. Have you missed something?

Contrary to many beliefs, a lot of employers do read cover letters and will actually use it to base their decision on whether or not to give you an interview. Thus, having a remarkable cover letter is just as important as having an impressive resume.

Cover Letter Tips

Need help with your cover letter? Below are cover letter mistakes to avoid!

1)      Spelling and grammar errors – Employers tend to view these types of errors as evidence of your carelessness and lack of interest for the position. Have a fresh pair of eyes proofread everything before sending it out to employers.

2)      Bad cover letter format – Bad cover templates fails to include the recipient information, a return address, and the date, all of which a good cover letter format should have.

3)      Not providing concrete examples – When you talk about your skills, back up your statements with examples. For instance, you can back up your statement by referencing a job where you successfully utilized that skill.

4)      Failing to personalize – Instead of simply saying “Dear Sir or Madam,” try to find out the appropriate contact name. If you cannot find a contact name, you can use, “Dear Hiring Manger.” In addition, try to mention the specific job position that you are applying to in your introduction.

5)      Using the same cover letter – Employers can tell if you’re using the same cover letter for every job and company. Make sure you mention the company’s name in the cover letter and address their specific concerns.

6)      Wrong company name – If you are sending the same cover letter to different companies, at least make sure you change the company’s name accordingly! Often times, candidates forget to edit their letters and end up sending their cover letter addressed to the wrong company. This obviously shows the employer that you are not serious about the job position and that you are applying to anything that’s available.

7)      Wrong position – When writing a cover letter, make sure you customize it for the specific position. Make sure you get your facts right.

8)      Too Long – Don’t make your cover letter several pages. Employers are deluged with resumes and cover letters. They don’t have time to read everything so mention only what’s important. A good cover letter is one page, consisting of three or four concise and convincing paragraphs.

9)      Too short – When your cover letter is too short, employers may question your level of interest in the job position. You will also be missing the opportunity to talk about your skills and experiences more in-depth. Cover letters provide a good opportunity to mention additional information that’s not on your resume that you want the employer to know.

10)   Not showing genuine interest – Make sure you express a genuine enthusiasm for the job.

Remember, having a cover letter works to your advantage by providing additional information that employers don’t get from just reading your resume. It gives employers a sense of who you are and what you can do for the company. Now that you know what makes up a bad cover letter, make sure you read the tips on how to make a good cover letter.

To learn more about how to create job landing cover letters, make sure you check out the Amazing Cover Letter Creator.

Purpose of a Resume

Some people have asked, “What is the purpose of a resume?” A resume provides a summary of your skills, accomplishments, and experience. It is not an autobiography but, rather a “snapshot” of all the important aspects that best reflect your qualifications for the particular job you are applying for.

Another purpose of a resume is that it is an important factor in determining whether or not you get a job interview. Although certain job applications do not require you to have a cover letter, having a resume is an essential aspect of the job application. A resume is similar to a sales pitch where you are the product and you are trying to convince the buyer, who is the employer. It is a quick advertisement of who you are and why you should be “bought” or hired.

Aside from using your resume to apply for jobs, resumes are also required for other purposes. For example, a student applying for a scholarship or to graduate school may need to include a resume as part of the application. Knowing the purpose of a resume is important because it will determine how your resume should be structured and written.

The 10 second resume rule

Unfortunately, employers are deluged with resumes and may only spend 10 seconds to glance at each resume. Those 10 seconds could make the difference between whether your resume will be tossed or considered for further review. To pass the initial screening, you want to format your resume in a way that is easy to read with keywords that capture the reader’s attention. This includes using resume action words. All of this is important because, even if you meet all the requirements for a particular job, you need your resume to be presented in a way so that employer knows that you “have what it takes.”

Keep in mind that preparing a good resume usually takes a lot of time and effort. It is recommended that after you finish writing your resume, you get it reviewed at least several times before sending it out to employers. A fresh pair of eyes can be very helpful for finding any grammatical and spelling errors. Once you have a resume, be sure to keep it updated to reflect your newly acquired skills and experience. You never know when you might need it for an unexpected opportunity, so be prepared. After all, one purpose of a resume is to get an interview!

Do Employers Read Cover Letters?

The competitive world today makes many of us wonder, “Do employers really read cover letters?” The harsh reality is that when there is a public job advertisement, you’re most likely not the only applicant. Companies are bombarded and overwhelmed with resumes and cover letters. Unfortunately, many of them simply do not have the time to go through every single cover letter. So what is the importance of cover letters and why do some companies ask for them? Whether or not they actually read our cover letters isn’t the real issue. If you are applying a job that you are serious about, why risk your chance of not getting an interview simply because you didn’t write a cover letter or spent time to write an effective one?

In fact, many companies use cover letters as a way to filter out the candidates to find the most devoted ones who are serious about the position. I personally know a few people who actually did not apply to certain positions because the companies were asking for cover letters and they were too lazy to write them. But this does not mean that you should have a poorly written cover letter just so that you have one to send in. There’s no guarantee that your cover letter will get read but you should always assume that it does, and thus, a poorly written cover letter can actually hurt you.

There are many advantages to having an effective cover letter. If you are judged as a strong candidate based on your resume, a well-written cover letter can make the difference in helping you get the interview as opposed to other strong candidates with a poorly written cover letter.

Cover letters are also read more often when you appear to be a good match for a certain position. For example, companies may quickly look over your resume to get a general overview and if they see that you might be the person that they are looking for, that’s when they will read your cover letter. This is another reason why having a strong resume really helps. Of course, this isn’t always the case. If you apply to a journalist position, your cover letter and any writing samples you send will probably get read.

Instead of wasting time wondering if employers actually read cover letters, figure out how to get employers to read your cover letter!