A carefully crafted cover letter gives you an advantage over other applicants and increases your chances of getting that job. In a cover letter you are making a statement about why choose YOU over anyone else. Write a cover letter such that you get noticed and end the job search. It gives you chance to make a case and cover and summarize those things you can’t express in your resume and come across as real person to potential employers. Following are the general guidelines that you should follow and potholes you must avoid to write that winning cover letter.
Not knowing when a cover letter is required and when it is not required
Some job applications require you to send your cover letter along with your CV while some require you to instead fill out an application form. Not giving attention to what the company has asked you give an impression that you don’t pay attention to details.
Not addressing the recipient rightly
You should ensure that you address the recipient by his/her proper title (Mr., Dr., Mrs. Etc.). If you don’t know the name of the recipient, contact the company to know the details as not addressing the proper person shows that you are sending form letters.
Not communicating effectively what you can do for the company
Make sure that you list those specific qualities that make you suitable for the job. Tell the employer how you can contribute towards the company. One common mistake is telling the company what they can do for you and not what you can do for them. Tough it is important to tell them why you are interested in the job; you should relate it to your skills.
Not proofreading your cover letter
Grammatical mistakes, typo errors, spelling mistakes show that you are not sincere for the job application. You should proofread the resume and also ask one of your friends or colleague to proof read it for you. It is a good practice to read your cover letter aloud to know how it is sounding.
Confusing your cover letter with your resume
Don’t rewrite your resume in your cover letter. Your employer would read that anyway. The three main points you should cover are
Why am I a qualified candidate for this position?
What work experience do I have that fits the job requirements in the company’s listing?
Why do I want to work for this company specifically?
Do not use a cookie cutter template for cover letter
The cover letter is to make you stand out. DO not go for things that are commonly used, use your creativity and stand out. E.g. handwrite your cover letter, use a different kind of paper etc. If you want a great job ensure you portray yourself as energetic, hardworking and problem solver, not template will help you with that.
Do not use hard words
The cover letter should be easy to read and follow. Do not use hard words or make it extremely technically hard. HR is the one who looks at it first; anybody and everybody who reads it should understand it, even if it is very technical.
Don’t forget your signature
Signing the cover letter is the last part and people forget to do so because it is the only part you won’t be typing. If you are submitting your cover letter digitally it is a good idea to scan and add your signature.