Today we’re going to be talking about cover letters. As an executive resume writer. I see some terrible, terrible cover letters. Let’s review the top 3 cover letter mistakes that people make.
Dear Sir or Madam
#1. Writing it and then addressing it, ‘Dear sir, or Madam,’. Yes, we used to do that and it’s very polite, but today you need to use your ingenuity, be a detective, and see if you can find out the name of the hiring person. If it’s an HR entity, call that entity and ask. You can say, “I’m applying for the project manager job, please can you tell me the name of the person in your office who’s hiring for that position?” That will put you that little bit above the competition. It’s all about being number one in people’s eyes. So, don’t write Sir or Madam, and also look that person up on the web, on LinkedIn and Google them because you may have something in common as well that will also give you something to talk about in the interview.
Stop Being Humble
#2. Stop being humble. You are selling yourself, tell them you are the perfect candidate for that particular job. A cover letter is being written in the personal pronoun, using the words I, my, he or she. Tell them the reason why they should hire you.
Brevity is Your Friend
#3. Be brief. Don’t go on to two or three pages. Keep it to one. Our attention span today is short. People have so many other things to do. And on average, an HR department can receive up to 2,000 – 2500 resumes and cover letters. That’s a lot of time consumed. So keep it brief at one page.
Hopefully, you’ve got some ideas on what not to do in a cover letter. If you are in career transition or simply want to manage or advance your career, I’d be happy to have a conversation with you. Please visit me at my LinkedIn profile or contact me using the short form below. I’d be happy to chat with you.