Nix These Three Cover Letter Mistakes

Nancy Anderson
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Your cover letter is an essential part of your job search that requires careful consideration and polishing. Candidates who halfheartedly throw together an introductory letter with their application materials could be robbing themselves of opportunities and a chance to impress hiring managers. Avoid these three mistakes to stand out from the rest of the applicants and effectively display your professionalism.

The Generic Template

Hiring managers read through hundreds of application materials and can easily recognize a generic template. Avoid beginning your cover letter with boring phrases such as "The position I am applying for is xxx" or "I saw your job posting on xxx." Instead, craft a creative opening that is unique. Begin by detailing what you admire about the company and point out details about business accomplishments within the industry that have impacted the company's reputation. Show that you have researched the business and identified that you are a good fit within the company culture and the overall organization. Personalize the cover letter and avoid phrases that are overly used to stand out from the rest of the applicants.

The Poor Proofreader

Potential employers seek candidates who are efficient and pay close attention to detail. Submitting a cover letter that is riddled with grammar and punctuation errors does not show that you are serious about the position or professional enough to properly proofread. Comb the letter multiple times and ask professionals in your industry to provide you with feedback during your job search. Ensure the letter does not contain any awkward phrasing or errors that can damage your professional reputation, and force the hiring manager to assume your work is sloppy, too.

Ignore Qualifications

Make it easy for potential employers to see that you are the ideal candidate by matching your skills to the desired and required skills listed in the job description when writing your cover letter. Candidates who ignore the qualifications and fail to mention their experience with software programs, hardware or equipment that is required are missing the chance to sell themselves to the hiring manager. Avoid ignoring what the company is looking and instead, make it crystal clear that your skills are in line with what the business is seeking in an employee. Outline how your personality and work ethic complement the company's culture. Investigate the mission and goals of the business, and outline how your career goals match to leave a lasting impression.

Mistakes on application materials can significantly impact your job opportunities. Hiring managers seek candidates who have a keen eye when proofreading, pay close attention to detail and arm themselves with information about the opportunity and the company itself. Personalize and customize your cover letter so it provides information about your skills and experience that the company is seeking.

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