Eight Cover Letter Don'ts

by McNally, Caitlin Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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Many companies will not even look at your resume if you don't include a cover letter. Writing a cover letter will show the company that you really want the position and will allow you to show why you are a good fit for the job. Here are eight cover letter "faux pas" that you will want to avoid when composing a cover letter.

1.) Don’t address the wrong person or company in your cover letter. This will likely disqualify you from consideration. Make sure all your facts are accurate and if you are unsure of the recipient, address your letter to a general "To Whom it May Concern".

2.) Don’t start off your cover letter with a weak opening line such as “Please consider me for your Customer Service position.” Grab the reader’s attention with a brief testimonial, a personal slogan or mission statement, or a related accomplishment that will entice the reader to read further.

3.) Don’t center the entire cover letter on yourself. A good cover letter’s main goal is to display why a candidate will be a good fit for a company.

4.) Don’t forget that the cover letter may determine whether or not an employer will look at your resume. Remember to add top selling points, such as goals you have achieved or how your innovative ideas helped to increase a company’s revenue.

5.) Don’t make your cover letter too long. Keep the letter concise and to the point and avoid filler sentences. Your cover letter should be no longer than one page.

6.) Don’t duplicate the information from your resume to your cover letter. Your resume will list the general responsibilities of your past positions. Your cover letter should instead sell the reasons why your past experience and skills will help you excel in this position.

7.) Don’t use the same cover letter for each position to which you apply. You should tailor your cover letter to the job description; highlighting the specific skills you have that they are looking for in a candidate.

8.) Don’t send a cover letter without a thank you statement at the end. You should thank the reader for his or her time and consideration for the position. Once again, convey your interest in the position and include your contact information at the end of the letter.