While almost anyone looking for a job recognizes the importance of an outstanding resume, most job seekers tend to ignore the cover letter. Because of this, you have many people making the mistake of using the cover letter to repeat what’s already on their resume.
But that’s not what a cover letter is. Instead, this document must tell the hiring manager why you’re applying for the position and what made you choose the employer. This shows your motivation for applying, making it easier for hiring managers to gauge your fit and value as a possible employee.
If you’re going to spend any real time writing something worthwhile, here are some crucial cover letter mistakes to avoid.
Using the Same Letter for Different Applications
A cover letter that glosses over your motivation, skills and work experience might seem fine. But discerning hiring managers can take this as a sign you’re applying for any available job.
Instead, an effective cover letter must reach out to a potential employer and the given position in a very specific manner. The cover letter must:
- match your skills, experience, and credentials with the open position
- raise specific factors attracting you to the company (e.g. their corporate social responsibility, a specific innovation, or their corporate culture)
In short, your cover letter must always adapt to the company and role you’re applying for.
Sharing Too Much Information, But Also Not Sharing Enough Information
Your cover letter is not the place to write your life story. You don’t have to go into detail about your work experience, education, or the most unforgettable experiences of your professional life. In fact, most employers prefer shorter cover letters — no more than half a page.
At the same time, however, you should maximize your cover letter by sharing as much relevant information as you can. And by relevant, we mean the information mentioned in the first point of this article.
Typos and Grammar Errors
Your cover letter is an opportunity to show off your communication skills; specifically, your ability to write a perfect business letter. This is especially important for positions requiring strong written communication and customer interactions. Use your cover letter to show off your writing chops, telling hiring managers you’re someone who’s more than capable of stringing sentences together with perfect grammar and style.
Don’t underestimate the value of a cover letter!
A cover letter has the ability to set you apart from the competition. When in doubt, let Sage Staffing provide you with the resources to develop your skills and improve your career strategy. Contact us to learn more about our staffing solutions in the Santa Clarita Valley.