software, and electronic
articles, books, scenarios,
planning, etiquette, do's &
don'ts, humor and more
market trends, industry
negotiation tips &
strategies, job titles/
descriptions, and cost of
research millions of
businesses in the US and
Canada with these
directories and search
Latest news releases on
industries, M&A's, layoffs,
do's & don'ts, and
Recruiters & Placement Agencies:
Directories and links to
recruiters in North America
who specialize by job type,
industry, salary level, and
& Job Related Web Sites:
Places to network
and job search.
To ensure you’re always using a cover letter
properly, let’s review its intended purpose. A cover letter primarily connects
your resume to an open position. To understand the importance of such a
connection, you only need to put yourself in the position of a hiring manager
for a day. Hiring managers, recruiters, HR personnel and others within the
hiring realm, see several dozen — or potentially a hundred or thousand — resumes
per day. How receptive would you be at matching resumes up with the
positions open within your company?
What’s great is that a cover letter need not only
spell out how you’re a perfect fit for the position, but can also address salary
issues, employment gaps, and any other qualification discrepancies, along with
willingness to travel, availability for interviews, and provide a catalog list
on how your career history matches the company’s requirements.
Use a cover letter about 95% of the time. The
only exception is when the resume is hand-delivered to a hiring manager or when
a phone or in-person discussion resulted in agreement to have the resume dropped
Below is a list of errors to avoid when sending a
resume to hiring companies:
SLOPPY COPY: MARGINS, FONT, PICA, AND WRITTEN
MATERIAL. The first impression given to any hiring agent is based on the
overall appearance of your cover letter because it’s the first item seen before
proceeding onto the resume. If a cover letter arrives on that person’s
desk without consistent margins, font, pica, and without effective writing, your
document has the potential of being “dead in the water” before the reader even
thinks of turning the page.
LISTING UNRELATED SKILLS OR QUALIFICATIONS is
probably the most common mistake candidates make. A highly skilled and
educated person is wise to mention significant achievements that pertain to his
or her current position or title. Listing irrelevant information in the
cover letter can actually leave a negative impression; so revolve every sentence
in your letter around the company’s needs and expectations of you.
NO CONTACT NAME LISTED. By not listing a
contact name, this shows lack of detail, not to mention, allowing the document
to float around the office rather than sitting on the desk of the hiring agent.
What if no contact information is available? Make a phone call to the company,
or ask someone in your network for a contact name. Anytime you can add a
personal salutation to your correspondence, you increase your chances of it
being seen by the right person.
INCORRECT OR INCOMPLETE ADDRESS. Double-check
everything — even if you pulled the address from the phone book, a classified
ad, or the company website. Check two different locations to verify that the
address you’re listing is 100% accurate and complete.
IMPROPER BUSINESS FORMAT. The lack of
proper business format is another common mistake. Use acceptable business
format margins (.75” to 1.0” left and right) and knowing when to indent and
double space. To add an additional amount of flair to your letter, utilize the
same font, margins, and header as with your resume. When viewed as an entire
package, it will look very professional and consistent.
By following these simple dos and don’ts, the art of
creating a cover letter should become somewhat painless. One last word of
caution, however. Before sending any document, ensure to proofread, proofread,
and proofread! A person can never be too careful when the fate of a great job is
on the line.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Learn how to write and design an
amazing cover letter.
Rose operates a prominent and
professional resume writing service, Resume to Referral.
She’s authored several
books, including "20-Minute
Cover Letter Fixer"
the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales."