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June 15, 2015

6 Cover Letter Mistakes That Repel Hiring Managers

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6 Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid

Hassan Ud-deen, f-bombmarketing

Cover letters are super important.

They are your best shot at showing a hiring manager who you are, what your value is, and how out of the large pool of candidates competing you're the one they need to catch.

But the problem is it's hard to create a killer cover letter that helps you land the job. And it's easy to scribble one down at the last minute, or recycle your previous one.

That's why this post will cover 6 critical mistakes that repel hiring managers. By avoiding these mistakes you'll instantly power up your cover letter and give yourself a sharp edge over your competition.

Let's go.

1. Not Researching About The Company or Position You're Applying For

An applicant who has done research on the company or the position they're applying for will receive greater consideration than those who send a generic cover letter. One fatal mistake that a lot of people make is not doing their homework on the company or the position they're applying for. Shooting off your resume and cover letter without researching is an excellent way to make a real bad first impression. It signals to hiring managers that you're lazy, lack attention to detail and lack passion.

The solution is simple...

Do some sleuthing behind the scenes. Find out more about the position or company. Brush up on the company's history, culture and value. Visit their website and take notes. Talk to people who work in the position you want to be in. This will catapult you above most of your competition and shows that you're passionate and committed to your work.

2. Writing Down Your Life Story

Your cover letter is not a novel about your life. It's a way to market skills that will impress your employer; think of it as the highlight reel of your career. Keep it short, sweet and simple. Do not go over a page, be sure to use bullet points to quickly break up blocks of text, and use 2-3 sentence paragraphs to make things as easy as possible for your hiring manager to digest.

3. Regurgitating Your Resume

This is tempting to do, but it's a huge waste of time because your recruiter will most likely look at your resume first. Instead, pick 2-3 examples of your work that show what you bring to the table. Aim to have a recruiter picturing how easy and smooth it would be to place you into his team. To do this, talk about the results that you've had before and how they were a benefit to your previous employers.

4. Making Silly Grammar And Spelling Mistakes

As long as you're qualified, grammar and spelling can be overlooked right? Well, not really. A well-written cover letter can improve the odds of a less-qualified applicant obtaining an interview.

We all know that presentation is everything. People constantly judge us on how we present ourselves, and your potential employers are no different. Your potential employer will immediately judge you by your writing in your resume and cover letter. If it's sloppy, crammed with errors and doesn't make sense you're not going to get the job. Be sure to take the time to proofread your cover letter for spelling and grammar mistakes.

5. Using Wimpy Language

Wimpy language dilutes the power of your writing and makes you look insecure and unsure of your abilities. Hiring managers don't want that. Trash the wimpy language and be more assertive.

6. Being Too Selfish

The final and most dangerous mistake that applicants make is blabbering on about themselves without considering their reader. Yes, you're expected to talk about yourself, but only in a way that can relate back to your potential employer. He/she will be constantly asking themselves one question throughout your cover letter.

"What can this person do for the company?" Answer that question adequately...and the job could be yours.

Don't just blindly mention certain skills or experiences, tell your recruiter how those skills and experiences will benefit the company and add to their bottom line. Sell yourself.

Cover letters don't have to be frustrating. Avoiding these 6 mistakes above and following their alternatives will help you create cover letters that pack-a-punch and help you land the job.

Hassan Ud-deen is a freelance blogger and email copywriter (who likes to be called "The Wordslinger"). He helps businesses use content to grow. You can find out more about him on his blog here.

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