I have heard varying opinions about the importance of a cover letter. Some people seem to believe that it carries no weight, while others think it is of utmost importance. Which opinion is true? I am here to tell you that your cover letter has the potential to carry some major weight. You have already put in so much effort to tailor your resume perfectly to your target position, so don’t stop now! Your cover letter will give you the chance to tell a personal story and help you stand out from all of the other applicants.
I am coming to the rescue to tell you 4 ways to avoid making mistakes when crafting your cover letter!
- Long Paragraphs. It is easy to fall into the trap of using too many words. You want to write a short and succinct cover letter that is easy to read, 2-3 sentences per paragraph will be fine. You should also consider using bullet points to highlight your most relevant achievements.
- Unrelated Information. Remember, you are selling yourself to your prospective employer. You want to highlight how your experience will benefit them. Just like a resume, a cover letter may only be scanned briefly, so be sure to leave undeniable evidence that you are a perfect fit.
- Your Needs. You are not off to a great start if their first impression of you is based on what you need from them. Your cover letter is intended to display what they are getting from you, not the opposite.
- Resume Copycat. A cover letter is not meant to rehash what is listed on your resume. Remember, this is your chance to connect with your potential employers on a more personal level. Consider telling a story about a challenge you faced and what you did to overcome that challenge. This will solidify that you can take initiative and solve difficult problems.
If you create your cover letter effectively, then it will work in your favor!
-Mary Southern, Founder at Resume Assassin