While others find cover letters hard to write, some actually find it easy. The hardship you may encounter when drafting your cover letter may at times make you feel like that section is not so important, which is wrong. You will end up doing a shoddy job.
Some institutions usually go for the cover letters and leave the rest. More reasons why you should be extra careful when writing it up. This is where you can sell yourself and convince your employer to hire you. Many people are applying so apart from the qualifications, you can steal your employer’s attention by drafting the best cover letter.
Highlighted below are both major and minor tips that will help you come up with the best cover letter, we will also take you through the do’s and don’ts and common mistake that you should avoid when writing. All that under one roof!
Cover Letter Tips: Basic Elements
You have to start with greetings. However, knowing who you are addressing is equally important. Is it a Mr. or a Mrs.? You should be in a position to find out. This is because Mr. Johnson may feel offended being called Mrs. If you are not sure of who will read your letter, and then use a general address to be on the safe side.
This is the first line of your letter. Probably what will decide your fate on whether the reader will keep reading or just leave it in the first sentence. You should, therefore, make it very eye-catching to make the reader want to find out more about you.
Parade your recent and past achievements but only if they are relevant to the job you are currently applying for. If it is not relating, then just assume it.
Skills and experience
Let the reader know what you can do and what you have been doing before in the field you were in. This can be computer knowledge or other foreign languages.
In as much as this is the ending part, you should still make it thrilling. Use clever and smart verbiage to get the job. You can then finish up with contact information.
Having this, you are now halfway the journey to write the best cover letters and have potential employers knocking at your doorstep just to employ you.
Cover Letter Do’s and don’ts
Things to do
These are things that are acceptable when doing the writing and should not miss in your letter.
Address your letter to a known individual. Try to be specific with to whom your letter id directed to.
Make it Simple
Use simple language and easy vocabulary that anyone can understand. Short sentences can as well explain something better. Therefore, try to do away with unnecessary wordings. Sometimes simplicity is always the best option.
Use Original Cover Letters
You may be having copies of your cover letter. However, when it comes to sending the letter to the employers, ensure that you send the original papers to each employer.
Make follow-ups after sending your resumes. This will show that you are determined instead of just sitting back. You should make calls and inquire about anything you would want to know. Remember to be polite during the phone calls.
Try to make your letter unique and different from the others. If you are using other samples for your work, remember that originality is highly valuable. Therefore use the samples as guidelines only.
One full-page Letter
The length of your letter should be reasonable. A normal letter always covers one full page. Therefore, try to be brief with each section.
Be positive as much as possible. Only include your successes…that might be a bonus.
Include your contacts
When including your contacts, ensure it is the correct address and number so that your employer will not have a hard time trying to reach to you Remember you are the one who wants the job so the employer won’t sacrifice his time to search for you.
Use Action Verbs
Ensure you use action verbs while writing. This is important in expressing your strengths, skills, experiences and past accomplishments.
If you are referring to an advertisement that you came across, ensure you briefly refer to their requirements.
Make your value be known
Let the employer know how you will contribute to their organization and how you can meet their needs.
What not to do
You do not want your cover letter tossed in a bin. These are things that may make you end up jobless and should, therefore, be avoided.
- Don’t try to be cute or charming. Most professionals may find this irritating while others may identify your sense of humor. Therefore, since you do not know the nature of the person you are writing to, it is important and advisable that you stick to a professional tone to be on the safe side.
- Do not assume that your write up is okay. We are human beings and man is to error. Proofread your work as many times as you can. There may be spelling errors and other grammar mistakes. The spell check may at times fail to correct some mistakes and therefore you cannot fully rely on it.
- Do not repeat what you already captured in your other resume. They are all going to the same person. No need to repeat because it will definitely be read if you wrote it.
- Avoid exaggerations and clichés. Those are totally not necessary.
- Do not use addresses such as ‘gentlemen’ in your salutation. They may suggest something different. It is also not acceptable if you are answering to a blind ad.
- Do not highlight your weaknesses. Phrases such as, ’I know am not good in…’ or ‘I did not do so well in…’ those are to be avoided if you really want this job. Do not parade your weaknesses.
Common Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid
The following are the most common mistakes made that lead to failure to get shortlisted for the interview.
- Using the wrong format. Ensure that your letter has a standard business-letter format.
- Using weak openings. Poor openings will definitely not attract the employer’s attention. Find words that are convincing and not just using ‘please’. Besides, that will make you look like you are begging for the position.
- Using ‘I’ every now and then. There are other words that can be used to replace that. Overusing a word leads to repetition which is another mistake. Therefore be sensitive on how you use it to avoid being self-centered.
- The length. A long cover letter is boring and not acceptable. You are writing for a job position and not an article. Be brief and simple.
- Eliminating your strongholds. You might feel like your achievements are less important but that is just your opinion. Write it down and see what your employer thinks of it. Remember you are selling your prowess more of advertising yourself. Therefore include your top abilities.
- Tweaking letters. This is okay but the problem comes in when you use the same letter for another organization without changing the full details. This is embarrassing and not pleasing at all.
- Being rude and ignorant. You should be thankful that the institution is giving such chances in the first place. And thank the reader for taking his time out of his busy schedule to attend to your letter.
- Lying. This is so unprofessional. Moreover, you might lose your job when they find out you lied.
- Forgetting to sign. It is proper that you sign when done. However, in a case where you have both the resumes and email cover letter, a signature is not necessary.
- Note that you may be having the best resumes but if the cover letter is not presentable enough, you might end up unemployed.