An excellent resume alone is not enough. To win a call for an interview, it must be accompanied with a great cover letter. These two documents work hand in hand, and you will fail to elicit the desired response from an employer if only one of them is good.
Many applicants don't understand the importance of a good cover letter, and continuously pay the price for their ignorance. You can either choose to belong to this group or be smart and make the best of each job opportunity. When it comes to cover letters, remember the rule: if your cover letter is not a winner, it is a killer.
A bad cover kills your chances of success. So the next time when you sit to write a cover letter, take care to not make these seven mistakes.
1. Incorrect format
An unprofessional cover letter will not win you any favors. So, ensure that you use the standard business format for all your cover letters. The following information must always be present in a cover letter: the mailing address of the recipient, your contact information, and the date.
2. Disregarding job requirements
Ignoring the recruiter's needs and mentioning skills that do not align with the listed job requirements is counterproductive to your goal. Therefore, pay attention to the needs of the employer and emphasize on skills relevant to the job requirements.
3. Grammatical and spelling errors
The fastest way to push your job application towards the trash bin is by making grammatical, spelling, and typing errors.
Such errors send the message to the recruiter that you are careless or not serious about the job application. Before you hit the 'send' button, proofread your cover letter carefully. Asking someone with good writing skills to proofread the letter for you after you have done the same is also recommended.
4. Not supporting your claims
You may have exceptional communication skills, but expecting the employer to take your word for it is a mistake. Recruiters need and value proof. That is why it is extremely important for you to give an example for each of your claims. If you have a skill but cannot back it with evidence, it is best that you leave it out.
5. Writing an autobiography
Cover letters are not meant for disclosing each and every detail about you to the employer. Instead there purpose is to apprise the reader about your key qualifications, skills, and achievements. Hiring managers are extremely busy people and don't have much appetite for long cover letters. As a rule, never make your cover letter more than a page long. Equally importantly, write small paragraphs--3 to 4 paragraphs are ideal--and use a bulleted list to highlight the key points.
6. One cover letter for all job applications
No two jobs are similar, so why should all your cover letters be same? Customize each cover letter according the employer's business philosophy and needs and details of the job. IF you get lost figuring out what to put in each cover letter check out examples online at sites like CoverLetter.us and Monster.com
7. Sending a small note in place of a cover letter
Do not send a note of one or two lines in place of a full-fledged cover letter.