Writing a cover letter can sometimes be a bit confusing. You simply don’t know what information to add, what to exclude and how exactly to tell your story. For many, this leads to some cover letter mistakes.
If you’re guilty of writing cover letters that just didn’t accomplish what they were supposed to – getting you the job – then you may need to revamp your style. Oh, it would also be good if you took time to read through these cover letter no-no’s. This way, you can avoid making similar – or even new – mistakes in the future.
Don’t Use a Template
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make when creating their cover letters is making them too generic. There are so many cover letter templates online that it’s pretty easy to use one and just fill in the blanks with your information. While there is nothing wrong with getting basic ideas from templates, that’s as far as it should go. Your cover letter should be extremely personal to who you are, what you’ve accomplished and what you hope to accomplish in the future.
Never Undersell Your Talents
Sometimes you can write your cover letter thinking that you’re giving enough information about yourself and your accomplishments; however, you could find yourself underselling your talents. This happens because you’re simply not used to thinking of descriptive ways to talk about your skills and accomplishments.
For instance, you may have been in charge of maintaining office files. However, if you described the action simply as “maintained office files”, you’re underselling yourself. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper by talking about the types of files you maintained, what types of filing systems they were maintained in, how often they were maintained, who they were maintained for, how many files you estimate where maintained and so on. Give yourself the credit you deserve – you’ve earned it.
Avoid Focusing Only On You
The purpose of writing a cover letter is to help you expand on the information that you presented in your resume, and add even more that couldn’t be included. It’s your chance to express passion, dedication, and desire.
Remember that everything you’re presenting is done in an effort to show your interest in the position. So you’re expressing your passion in starting or continuing in the industry you love, you’re showing dedication to previous employers (and potentially to the new one) as well as skill level by noting your accomplishments, and you’re presenting a desire to passionately dedicate yourself to this new company and position. If you talk about me, me, me without saying what you want to do for them, you’re missing the point, and maybe a great opportunity.
Some other no-no’s to avoid include starting with a weak opening paragraph, rather than one that grabs the reader’s attention, trying to be witty to a fault, omitting your contact information and failing to edit. If you avoid these mistakes waiting to happen when writing your cover letter, you’ll be in a much better position to secure the job you really want.
About the Author
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Compare the top resume writing services in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com.
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