09.04.2020 - Tech Leader Power Lunch topic is "Ask Melisa Anything Q&A Call"

5 Common Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid (They Might Surprise You)

Cover letters can seem outdated at times, especially when you're applying online to jobs that don't allow them.

But, for situations where you have the opportunity to send a letter, don't miss this crucial step. It can be a game-changer and help you stand out in a crowded field of applicants.

Here are the top 5 mistakes that most people make on cover letters. You'll want to avoid all five of these common cover letter mistakes:

1️⃣ Re-using the same cover letter. The cover letter can seem like a waste of time. Most job-seekers create one letter and then copy it over and over for each job application, with minimal adjustments. This letter is your chance to stand out. Write a new letter for each application.

2️⃣ Don’t repeat your resume in the cover letter. The cover letter should grab the hiring manager/recruiter’s attention. Use this as a space to describe WHY you want to work for the company, HOW it aligns to your skills and interests, and HOW you can add value.

3️⃣ Don’t send the letter with typos. Run spell check on the cover letter and read it out loud to yourself. Is the letter grammatically correct and does it flow? You’d be surprised at how many cover letters I’ve seen with typos, grammatical errors, and references to other companies that the candidate didn’t catch.

4️⃣ Don’t apologize. Don’t point out what you’re missing in your experience or background. It’s more common than you might imagine that a job seeker uses the cover letter as a way to justify what they’re missing. Don’t highlight your shortcomings or missing skills. Use this as a space to show your passion for working at the company, in the role, and for the hiring manager.

5️⃣ Don’t skip the letter. Many job seekers skip the cover letter when it’s not required in the process. You’re missing an opportunity to sell yourself. Never skip the cover letter when you have the opportunity to send one.


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