Your Cover Letter Could Be Hurting Your Chances

Nancy Anderson
Posted by

Your cover letter is supposed to give hiring managers a great first impression of your abilities. Unfortunately, many job seekers make critical cover letter mistakes that actually cast doubt on their professionalism. If you are looking for a job, be careful not to make these mistakes when writing and sending your cover letters.

Unless a job advertisement specifically says not to send a cover letter, not including one with every resume you send out is a major mistake. Most employers view cover letters as a necessity for determining which applicants to interview and which ones to ignore. The right cover letter can give the hiring manager a sense of your personality, show off your writing skills and help you demonstrate why you deserve the job. Do not hurt your career by failing to send cover letters to potential employers.

If your cover letter is too generic, hiring managers are likely to pass you over for other applicants, even if your skills and experience are a perfect fit for the job. Making your letter specific to each job should be one of your top priorities. For best results, almost every sentence in your resume should show why you are the best applicant for that specific position. Showing how valuable you are as an employee makes it easier to persuade hiring managers that you are a good fit for the position and for the company as a whole.

Your cover letter needs to be professional, but that does not mean it needs to be boring. If you send overly formal cover letters that do not really show off your personality, you could be hurting your chances of securing an interview, especially if the job opening requires creativity or persuasive writing skills. You only have a few seconds to impress a hiring manager, so make sure your opening line sparkles. With the right writing style, it is possible to make hiring managers feel like they would be missing out if they declined to interview you.

Content is one of the most important aspects of a cover letter, but you also need to pay attention to the little details. Unless you are applying for a job as a graphic designer, stick with a tried-and-true, businesslike format. Check every cover letter thoroughly to make sure you did not make any mistakes. If you apply for multiple jobs at the same time, be careful not to send the wrong cover letter. Make sure each digital version of your letter has a distinctive file name so you do not accidentally attach the wrong one to an online application. If you are sending your cover letters via postal mail, be careful not to mix up the envelopes.

All of these cover letter mistakes can make hiring managers wonder if you have what it takes to succeed in a professional environment. Make a good impression by avoiding generic cover letters, using an engaging writing style and sending a cover letter with every resume.

Photo courtesy of Goldy at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch