Mar 192015
 

There is an art to writing a cover letter. You have to find the perfect balance between making certain the cover letter stands out while ensuring you do not constantly talk about yourself and thus boring the reader. Somewhere in the middle, you have to entice the potential employer that you are indeed the right person for the position. This is not an easy task, but it is not impossible either. Consider the top cover letter mistakes below, and be sure that your cover letter does not make any of them.

Weak opening paragraph

Otherwise known as the ‘hook’, this cover letter mistake is one of the biggest reasons why certain cover letters fail to impress potential employers. If your reader grows bored with the cover letter after reading it for only a few seconds, they are going to mentally check out of the cover letter and not pay any attention to what they are reading. In fact, they may not read the cover letter past the opening paragraph. Thus, you need to grab the attention of the reader in the opening paragraph in such a way that they cannot help but read the rest of the letter.

You may be tempted to state the obvious in order to get through the first paragraph, but avoid this! For example, if you are applying for the position of a restaurant manager, do not state this in the first paragraph (or anywhere else in the cover letter). Your potential employer already knows what position you are applying for; do not waste their time by telling them something they already know. Instead, tell them why you would be the perfect fit for the position. If you were referred to someone, be sure to include this information in the opening statement to entice them to read further.

 Typos

Nothing will get your cover letter thrown in the trash faster than grammatical and spelling errors; making this one of the other most severe cover letter mistakes. While it may be judgmental, to employers, failing to proofread a cover letter sent to a potential employer tells them that if you are unwilling to prepare for an important step like applying for a job position, then you probably fail to prepare for other things in life. It is an assumption that is probably incorrect, but think it better from the employer’s perspective: they have so many other potential candidates to consider, that they are going to use any excuse they have to weed out the mount of resumes and cover letters.

Telling them what they will already know

This cover letter mistake is one that you may not even think is a mistake, but it is one that is abused all the time. When writing your cover letter, before sending get in, reread it to make sure that the information included in the cover letter cannot be found anywhere else on your resume. Many people are tempted to simply rehash certain information into their cover letter, but this will do nothing to help you stand out. A cover letter is supposed to be a personalized decree that showcases exactly why you are the perfect candidate for the job, and if it is nothing more than a glorified resume? Your cover letter simply is not going to make the cut.

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