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5 Ways Your Cover Letter Says, ‘I Don’t Want This Job’

Cover letters can be a great way to get employers to notice you. Of course you always want to send one but what are some ways that your cover letter can actually hurt your chances of getting interviews?

  1. You use ‘Dear Sir or Madame’ as your salutation.

    It can be a lot of work to find out the name of the hiring manager or the person that your resume is being sent to. However, if you do, it will put you in the good graces of the hiring manager…at least to start off with.

  2. The reader is left with the question of what job you are actually applying for in their organization.

    You need to state the title of the job somewhere on your cover letter. It can be as a title or in the first paragraph. Hiring managers don’t want to guess which job you want. If they do, then you’ll likely get passed up for interviews.

    This is another way you can personalize your cover letter. If you use the exact title for which they are hiring, then they’ll know that you took the time to tailor it just for them.

  3. Your cover letter addresses none of the job requirements.

    One way to really impress an employer is by their specific needs they listed in the job posting. This is where you can completely personalize your cover letter. Check out your achievements from your resume and see what is applicable to their needs. Pull a few and reword them a bit to add them as a bullet list on your cover letter.

  4. You end it with a passive call to action.

    You want to make the Hiring Manager do the least amount of work as possible in order for you to get an interview. One of the ways you can ease their burden is by calling them to follow-up. State that you will call them in a certain amount of time – say one week or on a specific date – and be sure to do it.

    Don’t worry about coming across as to aggressive. It’s acting proactively which employers think highly of and you can expect them to take note. Of course they may call you even before you get a chance to give them a ring, but that’s a good thing.

  5. No contact information.

    I know you’re saying ‘Give me a break!’ It seems like that’s common sense, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes when job seekers create their own resume package, they only put their contact info on their resume, not their cover letter. But what happens if the two get separated and your resume accidentally gets tossed? Your desire to get an interview just got tossed along with it.

    Paying attention to detail will go far when you’re job hunting. Don’t be in such a rush that you forgo some of these pointers. Take your time to do it right and you’ll find yourself getting many more employers wanting to meet you.

- 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 services in the industry at