The resume focuses on you and the past. The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future. ~ Joyce Lain Kennedy
A cover letter is a silent spokesmen for your actual proposal. It is an introduction to your proposal for the reader. Hence, it has to be written with great care. A cover letter has to be worded on very carefully, as it has to interest the reader to move on the next attachments of the mail.
The words have to be chosen carefully, and the basic idea has to be articulated well, to generate curiosity. This letter becomes your first, and probably the only chance to impress your reader. An effective cover letter is also the one that goes to show that you are clear in your thoughts.
Despite learning how to write a cover letter in school and college, most of us fumble when we actually have to do it. To many, writing a cover letter is quite a daunting task.
The pressure of getting your idea through to the reader and impressing him or her, can make the writer very nervous. The biggest mistake most people make while writing a cover letter is, treating it as the last thing to do.
Unfortunately, with a looming time crunch, writers do not proofread it hit the send button without giving the letter much thought. Let's take a look at some of the common cover letter mistakes that most people make, which should be avoided, so that it can be as effective as possible.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Cover Letter
We all know that a letter should greet the reader with a 'dear' or 'respected'. However, how do you know which is the right greeting? Make some effort to find out who you are sending the letter to. If you think about it, a 'dear' makes it too personal and a little less formal. So know when to use which greeting while writing a cover letter.
The opening paragraph of the letter is the one which should grip the reader. If this content manages to grab the reader's attention, then consider half the battle won. An uninteresting and weak opening paragraph, which simply talks about who you are, can dissuade the reader.
Instead, try to talk about how you can fit the company's position better with your experience. If the reader realizes that he stands to gain from you, then only is he likely to read further.
Besides this put-off, an extra-long cover letter may also disclose all the details that are mentioned in the attachments, defeating their purpose altogether. Thus, keeping is short, to the point, simple and crisp, is better than going on and on about the subject.
Typos and Grammatical Errors
Imagine if you were applying for a writer's job, and your cover letter had a considerable number of typos and grammatical errors! Your job would have ended even before it took off. So, whether it is a writing job or a managerial job, it is extremely important that you avoid errors at any cost.
A cover letter should be proofread thoroughly. If the need be, double check it, or even show it to someone else. Error-free writing is always an indicator of a worker who does the job well.
Ideally, your cover letter should mention your vision, mission, and life goals, and how the opportunity in question is perfect to achieve those goals. A cover letter could also explain certain confusing parts of your resume, such as a change in your career path, or a gap in your jobs.
No Contact Information
Sometimes, a cover letter gets sent separately. In such cases, mostly, the contact information is missed out on. Thus, if the recruiters are intending on calling you, they will not know how to contact you. To avoid such a disaster, make sure that you close the letter with your contact details.
Sadly, most of us miss out on important pieces of information or our unique selling points. It is important that your strengths, assets, and your core competencies are seen through this letter. Underselling your talent will be a complete waste of your effort. And that's the last thing you want to happen, right!
These are some of the common things that most of us tend to overlook while writing a cover letter. Avoiding these silly mistakes can make the letter neat, clear, and most importantly, effective.
A cover letter must also show you enthusiasm and your interest towards the position. It must convey your motivation to pursue your dreams, and your conviction to achieve the pinnacle of success, through this opportunity.