Common Pitfalls in Writing a Cover Letter for a Resume
Whether you’re applying for a job or writing a business proposal, a very good cover letter should present very well what you have intended it for. Just as the word “cover” implies, it should provide the recipient a very good introduction or briefing of what to expect from you- the sender. A good cover letter is like a pair of shoes that can take you anywhere. Don’t know where to start? Follow these simple guidelines and some common mistakes in writing a cover letter.
- Do check your spelling, grammar and usage. Many cover letter writers don’t bother to check the words before they print and this could be a problem especially for a Human Resource officer who’s kin on those things. Remember that first impressions last and this is the first thing that they read about you.
- Proofread your cover letter after you’ve written the cover letter. This is not only to check if spelling, grammar and usage, but mainly to check if it addresses a specific person or company rather than using a generic cover letter. A generic letter is a very common mistake especially for a first time applicant who will apply for a job in different companies.
- Get your facts right and utilize it well. Research for the correct contact person the company and mention it in the letter. Address that person properly and also make mention of the company, where you saw the ad and the position you are applying for. It will show that you took time to know all the facts about the company and many HR officers appreciate this.
- Open your letter with the name of the contact person, if you have it like “Dear Ms. Smith”. Do not use the classic “Dear Sir/Madam” which is a very outdated way of doing it. Address all women as “Ms.” As opposed to “Miss” or “Mrs.”, which adds a touch of professionalism to your letter.
- Do make sure that your cover letter cover is brief and concise, but not overly short or long. Ensure that you highlight the important points relevant to the job you are applying for: skills, training and experience. Keep it to about 3-4 paragraphs which is definitely does not exceed a page. Remember it is a cover letter, and there is no such thing as cover letters. You have the resume to put all those, plus leave room for the interviewer to ask questions from by not giving everything in one go.
- Do make use of specific skills keywords that really stand out especially for achievements or accomplishments. A few examples are “increased sales by 50%”, “initiated the use of recycled papers to save cost for the company”, “implemented use of EDI to key customers”, “and designed the training program for new employees”.
Finally, consider these points very well, and in no time you can come up with a very good cover letter that will surely land you a job.