Third, read these crucial cover letter tips and tricks in the Careers Center, including the following five common cover letter mistakes you’re probably making right now.
Cover Letter Mistake #1: Sounding Boring – Or Worse, Bored
Your cover letter probably isn’t the right place to talk about last year’s wild Spring Break bender. However, your cover letter still needs to be interesting enough to keep the hiring manager from getting bored silly.
One of the biggest mistakes you could make with your cover letter is being so boring – or sounding so bored – that the hiring manager stops reading why they should hire you. And if they stop reading, what’s the point of writing it?
A boring cover letter defeats the purpose of writing a cover letter at all.
Do your best to gauge the level of creativity that the hiring manager would appreciate at the company you’re applying for. You can tell a lot about how traditional they would want cover letters to be by the way they represent themselves on their websites.
Check out their About Us pages for clues, such as looking at the words and photos they choose. Ask yourself these questions to help determine how you should add interest to your cover letter:
Do they have pictures of employees having fun or are they hard at work?
Do they use slang or professional jargon?
Do they use formal words or contractions like “aren’t” and “can’t”?
For example, if they’re strictly professional and corporate, such as an established accounting firm, concentrate on adding interesting statistics and quantitative examples of how you’ve excelled at your previous jobs or in school.
On the other hand, if they’re a cutting-edge fashion magazine or hyper-hip marketing firm, you can be a little more creative in how you spice up your cover letter. Try a clever opening line or tell an interesting anecdote about why you’re a fantastic candidate.
Cover Letter Mistake #2: Recycling Your Resume
Your cover letter is the place where you can share why you’re a great candidate. It isn’t where you recycle your resume. Rehashing everything you already listed in your resume summary, qualifications, education, job history, and interests isn’t just unnecessary – it’s boring.
Cover Letter Mistake #5: Your Cover Letter is Too Long
Hiring managers expect cover letters to be between half to one page long. They probably won’t read anything longer than one page, unless you’re applying for a very senior position at a company. Stick to one page or less!