By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer
Cover letters are tricky - and from what I’ve seen during twelve years in the careers industry, writing a cover letter is one of the most researched job search topics of all time. As a former recruiter and HR manager, I want to share with you some cover letter mistakes you may not even realize you’re making!
1. To Whom It May Concern...
Lead with this sentence and it probably will concern no one. It’s always best to find out who the hiring manager is or the recruiter’s name, but at least address it to someone at the company. With today’s technology there are multiple ways to do this - researching on LinkedIn or by calling the company and simply asking for the name of the hiring manager are just two ways to go about this.
2. Talking about yourself...
Might seem like quite the oxymoron when the purpose of a cover letter is to talk about yourself, but what I’m referring to here is leading off your cover letter with something like: “I found your job posting to be of great interest to me...” or: “I feel like I’m the best fit for this job opening...”
These openers are all about you and fail to address the most critical element of a cover letter - how you will meet the needs of the employer.
3. Failing to copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the e-mail...
Nothing is worse than spending time fretting over a cover letter and working hard to get the wording exactly right only for it to go unnoticed or unread. If you’re applying for an opportunity via e-mail, don’t just attach the cover letter to the e-mail. Instead, copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the e-mail; it is much more likely to be read this way. A prospective employer may never open your cover letter attachment, but they will most likely take the time to read your e-mail.
Remember these three tips when submitting your resume and cover letter to increase your chances for being noticed and most importantly - remembered.
About the Author
Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.
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