Cover letters are one of the major ingredients in the hiring process, which is what gets you a job. It is supposed to introduce you to your employers, which highlights some of your best skills and accomplishments. It is usually attached alongside other documents such as your resume.
However, preparing one is another story as most hiring managers tend to be less impressed. Due to lack of preparation, the cover letter fails to hit the mark. In order to make it shine in the eyes of your recruiters you need to avoid the following blunders.
1. Not addressing the recipient’s name
Using the overused “Dear Sir/Madam” line as your opener is one of the worst ways you can bomb your employment chances. It is not that you’re being rude or anything, but that it is a rather informal approach of starting your letter.
What you should be doing instead is write the name of the individual who is charge of hiring you. We would like to point out that it is not really easy in finding out the name of the hiring manager, but you can try to look it up online or else call the company directly.
2. Starting the letter with your name
Even though it is customary to introduce yourself to your employer, it is not always a good option. For one thing, the company could care less about your name and focus more on what you can contribute to it. Besides, the recruiters will have already known your name unless you forget to mention it in your resume.
In place of that, you should start by stating your qualification as a way of introducing yourself. If you’re an individual with ten years’ worth experience in the skill that your hiring manager is looking for, then go for it.
3. Mirroring your resume in your cover letter
If you’re thinking about duplicating or rephrasing your resume in your cover letter, then you’re done for. The resume is the first thing that your recruiters usually see before they call you up for an interview. Hence, you are wasting your time if you think can pull off the same impression in your cover letter.
It doesn’t have to be this way though, not unless you bring up only two or three examples of your work that best highlight want the company wants from you. Focus more on how you can translate your abilities into something lucrative for the employers and you’ll see how well that works.
4. Words after words
This is not a court hearing where you have to explain your entire backstory. Do not saturate your cover letter with too much detail that it leads the employer away from the point. Keep your personal information off of your cover letter as it is not required.
In contrast to that, give explanations as to why you would like to apply for the position being offered with simple reasoning. If it is about a career change, then don’t go more than a single paragraph.
5. Failing to research about the company
It is a fatal flaw that gets in the way of employees when they fail to do their homework about the company that they wish to opt for. Sure your resume may have been intriguing due to some of the skills that the company wants, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t know anything about the company’s history.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to do some online snooping around about the position you’re gunning for and the company that is offering it. Do as much research as you can to understand their business, their culture and their history. Doing this will give you greater recommendation and consideration.