Have you ever wondered whether your cover letter makes much of a difference within an application process?
Has it ever occurred to you that you may be giving the reader (i.e. hiring manager) way too much or too little information?
Or, maybe, you are so caught up in trying to make yourself look good before they get to your resume/CV that you completely lose the plot…
One of the major problems with Cover Letters is that they have the tendency of falling into one of three negative categories. See below:
1. The Regurgitation Letter – This you definitely try to avoid at all costs. No hiring manager is interested in having a recap of everything they are basically about to see in your resume/CV. They want to hear more, not the same of what already exists. Most individuals tend to, instead of enhancing what is on their resume/CV as it relates to the job position applying for, repeat details that can be seen later, which is not only unnecessary but a waste of time;
2. The Protocol Letter – This is the one which was either downloaded online or randomly selected from a stereotype database, which is commonly used. It shows that you have not actually taken the time to think about how you can actually fit into the company applying to. You basically have shown that you can’t be bothered to take the time to research the company so you will just say generic slurs, which the internet clearly says are totally acceptable. The problem isn’t using the internet but rather your lack of personalisation within the letter itself. It must read as though, not only the fact that you wrote it yourself, but also for them to get a sense of who you are before they actually meet you in person; or,
3. The Overly ‘Cocky’ Letter – It is great to emphasize who you are and what you are bringing to the table; however, there is a thin line between being confident about your professional abilities and exaggerating to the point of sounding obnoxious. It is important to be aware and understand that when the hiring manager reads your letter they are looking not only for what you have said written on the paper but also what you have not actually mentioned. First impressions come from your cover letter, not from your first time being seen at an interview. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain a level of humble through your words.
Basic Tips to Remember:
* your cover letter is an introduction to yourself and to your application, use it wisely;
* tailor it not only to yourself but also to the position being applying for – this shows that you are articulate in your work ethic;
* take care in remembering to not over emphasize yourself – it normally reads that you are over compensating for some area of weakness you are trying to avoid them seeing;
* never repeat unless pointing out an area which is important to the position that they should take special note of – if it can be seen in your resume/CV more or likely they aren’t interested in being forced to look at the same information twice; and,
* avoid generic writing – it is important to stand out; however, don’t stand out for the wrong reasons. No hiring manager wants to be insulted by your lack of originality.
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