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Cover Letter Mistake #2

Have you ever been reading some piece of literature and as you’re reading you realize you have no idea what the point of the whole piece actually is? It’s very annoying and you’re likely not to read another word because you feel like you’ve already wasted your time.

Have you thought about what a hiring manager must think when this happens with a cover letter? Imagine being inundated with resumes and cover letters that don’t even say anything important. They consider those types of applicants not worthy of interviews and therefore will trash your resume and not give you another thought.

How do you avoid being discarded without a second glance? There are some ways to make them want to read your information and get you in there for an interview.

  1. Include a title

    This is a tactic that really helps hiring managers focus in on what job you are applying for without having to take even a few seconds to figure it out. Remember: anything you can do to make their job easier you should try to do.

    The title doesn’t have to be word-for-word the actual position but something very closely related. You can work it in pretty effortlessly in the first sentence of your cover letter.

  2. Point out the highlights

    Sometimes employers get so bogged down with resumes that they resort to weeding them out rather quickly. The first thing they read about you comes from your cover letter. Be sure to look at the job description for which you are applying and make a point to highlight them in your cover letter.

    One of the most effective ways to do this is by using bullets. The reader might only spend 20 seconds on your resume package before deciding whether or not to read the entire document. You don’t want to go through all that work only to have them believe you’re not qualified (when you really are). By making your cover letter easy for the reader to skim over while picking up on all the important information, you’ve just made the hiring manager quite pleased. And if your qualifications are indeed a good fit, then you have a great chance of being moved into the ‘interview’ pile.

  3. Let them be able to contact you

    Have you ever left off your contact information from your cover letter? Job seekers believe that if they include it on their resumes, they’re set. Sadly, they’re mistaken.

    When there is a job opening, all kinds of paperwork is flying around the office. It can happen that a cover letter and resume get separated from one another and sometimes get lost all together. It’s always best to have all your contact information on both your resume and cover letter so that no matter which document the employer has, you’re covered.

    Cover letters can be tricky; even what you deem as insignificant can have a major impact on your ability to get interviews. What may seem as unimportant to you may end up making the difference between waiting for an interview and actually getting one.

- Heather Eagar

Recognized as a leading expert in the employment search industry, Heather Eagar is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Check out reviews of the top resume writers in the industry at www.ResumeLines.com. Get Heather's free ebook Turning Interviews Into Job Offers.

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