Cover Letter Blunders & Pitfalls
By: Heather Eager
As you sit down to write your cover
letter, do you ever stop and think, "Who the heck
is going to read this?" You may believe that just
because employers get hundreds of resumes per job
posting that they tend to skip the cover letter part. That is just not true.
One Size Doesn't Fit All
You've written this awesome cover letter and it's
taken you quite a long time to create your
masterpiece. You're tired and spent from all your
hard work. When it comes time to get your
information together for the next job, you change
the "To" section of the cover letter and the job
title that you're applying for. Boom done!
But hold on a second.
What you just did is a major faux-pas. How is
Employer #2 going to feel when it's obvious you
didn't write your cover letter just for him? What
if there was something in there that didn't
relate to that particular job at all?
Before you throw up your hands in frustration,
let me clarify: you do not need to completely
re-write your entire cover letter for each and
every one of the positions for which you apply.
You just need to put forth a little extra effort
to show the employers that they are not just one
of many companies for which you are applying.
Oops! Forgot to Change the Company's Name?
You're applying to jobs online and you hit "Send"
a split second before you realize you forgot to
update the company's name on your cover letter.
It seems like it's happened to everyone but it is
a huge blunder that most likely takes you out of
the running for that particular position. Not
very encouraging, huh? The good part about it is
that you'll be extra careful applying for jobs from then on.
Is there a way to recover from this error? You
could always follow up with a hardcopy of your
resume package. By then, the hiring manager
probably would have already forgotten about your
little mistake. You can also wait a few days and
apply on line again. With so many resumes,
employers probably aren't going to remember your original submission.
Not Highlighting Your most Important Achievements?
Many job seekers believe that if they have their
achievements on their resume, why should they
repeat themselves in their cover letter? Simple
you need to do everything you can to make that
employer want to read your resume. If your cover
letter doesn't provide them with enough 'proof'
that you're a great candidate for the position,
then there is a chance they won't even make it to your resume.
Now I'm not saying that it's best to repeat
yourself verbatim. Be a little creative and
reword those top three or four achievements or
important requirements that you know the employer
wants to see. These may be different with each
job posting so customize appropriately.
There are many ways to make your cover letter
grab an employer's attention. Treat it as being
as important as your resume in getting
interviews. After all, it's your cover letter's
job to make the hiring manager want to read your
resume. A great resume needs a cover letter to
pave the way for the job that you really want.
© 2007 Heather Eager. All Rights Reserved.
About the Author:
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume
writer who is now dedicated to providing job
seekers with resources and products that promote
job search success from beginning to end. Grab
your free cover letter tips email course at http://www.CoverLettersMadeEasy.com