Checking your resume for typos, spelling errors and grammar mistakes is essential. It is likely you proofread it numerous times and had friends check it for mistakes. This effort will hopefully eliminate all errors. Writing cover letters and filling in text boxes for online job applications is a different story. You can’t work on everything you write for weeks or months with numerous reviewers. So, how can you reduce the likelihood of sending out a bunch of typos?
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Each time you apply for a job, you are sending an advertisement for a product, you and the work you are capable of doing, to a sales prospect, the employer. The more you can learn about your prospect, the better you can tailor your sales pitch. The key is tailoring your presentation to what is important to the prospect – not what is important to you.
Continue reading Tailor Your Cover Letter
I receive cover letters on a regular basis that try to define the hiring criteria for the hiring manager. Most hiring managers know what they are looking for when hiring. They might have some flexibility in the criteria, but generally they know what types of skills, experiences and abilities will make someone successful. As a job seeker, it’s a waste of time to try to persuade them to change their criteria. Despite this, some job seekers lead off their cover letters with instructions for how to hire.
Continue reading Telling Hiring Managers What They Want
Using a template to write your cover letter can make it a lot easier. We provide a three templates in our Cover Letter Best Practices Report and there are a ton of templates available on the web. If you use a template to get started, make sure you customize it.
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One technique for writing a cover letter is to address each of the key requirements of the job. This approach provides a bulleted list or a table. Each line has one requirement and a short description of the job seekers experience with that specific task.
Continue reading Addressing Requirements in a Cover Letter
When a hiring manager starts to read your cover letter and resume, you have no credibility. The reader doesn’t know you. They don’t know if they can trust you or if you are prone to exaggeration and lying.
This lack of credibility is highlighted when a job seeker leads off their cover letter with a boastful statement.
Continue reading Credible Cover Letters
I worked with a job seeker interested in returning to the workforce after several years of retirement. Like many people today, the combination of falling housing values and a large drop in the stock market have reduced the retirement savings well below what was expected. To maintain the standard of living, this individual decided a part time job would help. The job seeker is also excited to return to working after several years off.
Continue reading Don’t Highlight Your Age
A cover letter needs to be clear and concise to be effective. Awkward and wordy sentences will discourage a hiring manager from reading the entire cover letter and will make a poor impression before the reader gets to the resume. Unfortunately, many writers struggle with identifying wordy phrases in their own writing.
Continue reading Wordiness on a Cover Letter