While there’s always some argument about whether or not prospective employers actually bother to read cover letters, no one seems to dispute the fact that you need one anyway. And since hiring managers and recruiters admit if the letter doesn’t catch their attention in 10 seconds or less, it may get thrown in the trash, your cover letters is your first impression, and it must be flawless.
There are several common mistakes that are easy to make on your cover letter. However, you can avoid these errors if you know what they are!
We’re going to look at nine quick tips that can vastly improve your cover letter. (Want a FREE Checklist and Swipe Templates?) When evaluating these tips, always consider things from the perspective of the employer.
Use these tips to make your cover letter shine:
- Spelling and grammar are critical. Your spelling and grammar should be impeccable. Use the spelling and grammar function on your computer. If you’re not sure about the usage that’s being suggested by your software, ask someone else.
- This is one of those items that is easily fixed and will help you tremendously. Companies view these types of errors very negatively, so take an extra two minutes and get it right.
- Show you have long-term interest. Companies depend on tenured employees as the foundation of their success. Hiring and training a new employee is expensive, so companies need to believe that you’re in it for the long haul.
- Stay local if you can. Unless the position pays quite well, companies prefer local applicants. Most don’t offer moving and travel expenses, and they can be sure that you’re comfortable with the area and won’t jump ship for geographical reasons.
- Avoid vagueness. Companies are almost always looking for someone to perform specific tasks and manage specific responsibilities. Be clear about what you’re looking for and what you have to contribute.
- Be unique. After a while, all applicants and cover letters start to look the same. Your personal branding statement is a great way to set yourself apart from everyone else. And it makes you look like you put considerably more time into your cover letter, It will stand out compared to all the others. Like your mom probably said, “Be you.”
- Be 100% professional. Was your last boss a jerk? Was your last employer cheap? Those things might true, but it looks bad if you mention them. If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself.
- Show some personality. It makes employers feel better about you if they can get some sense of who you are on a more personal level. Cover letters frequently make the applicant appear to be a hard-working robot. And who wants to work closely with a robot? Remember to be professional, but show some personality in your cover letter.
- Come from a position of strength. The employer is only interested in what you can do for them and how you fit into the company culture. Expressing neediness, desperation, or other personal issues won’t help you. Focus on your strengths and skills and show them what you can do for them.
- Be reasonable. Commonly, applicants apply for positions that are either way beyond or way beneath their experience. In the first case, the employer will never believe you can perform the job adequately. In the second case, the employer won’t trust that you’ll stay. Stretch yourself, but be reasonable in your aspirations.
Check out this video for the one thing every cover needs ….
Cover letters are a necessary part of any professional job search. Always present yourself as a professional and keep the perspective of the employer in the front of your mind.
Hiring managers are always looking for someone that can competently perform the job, fit into the corporate environment, and show a reasonable amount of loyalty. Get these things across in your cover letter and you’ll have that new job before you know it!
If you want more secrets to building a successful career brand, you can:
Join Successfully Ever After an online course designed to help you create a personal brand designed with career success in mind within 30 days.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch quick tips to help your job search or make yourself promotable.
Join my private Successfully Ever After Facebook Group for trainings and information designed for success-seekers.