Candidates seeking a job interview must carefully prepare a professional resume and a stellar cover letter to appeal to hiring managers. A checklist can help you stay on track and highlight the key areas of your professional experience and skills to appeal to employers within your industry. Avoid common mistakes that can derail your career opportunities.
Mistake No. 1: The Template
A cover letter should match the formatting of your resume so a hiring manager can identify that the documents are in sync and belong to the same person. Avoid adding in decorative or script font that is too informal and hard to read. Stick to a professional font, such as Times New Roman, and align your spacing and paragraphs so the resume and letter match.
Mistake No. 2: The Opening Statement
Most candidates begin a cover letter with a bland statement that identifies the position they are seeking. Stand out from the competition by crafting an engaging opening statement that displays your creativity and professionalism, recommends TempStaff. Outline why you want to work for the company right away or mention someone within your network who referred you to the job to make a connection with the potential employer from the start.
Mistake No. 3: The Justification
Your cover letter needs to clearly outline why you are the best fit for the position. Detail why you want to work for the company so your letter has a clear purpose and provides expanded information from your resume. Hiring managers need to know why you want this position. Provide justification for why you are qualified, how you can work with teams and why you want to work for the company. Research the business and provide specific examples of how you can make an impact as an employee.
Mistake No. 4: The Call to Action
Do not assume the potential employer knows why you are writing a cover letter. Include a call to action in the conclusion that directly requests a job interview and confidently details how you look forward to working for the company. Include your contact information and links to any professional portfolios or job materials you have posted online. Update your professional information on social media sites, and make sure you have a professional online presence so the hiring manager is impressed with your image and brand before you even step foot in the door.
Common mistakes can land your application materials in the trash and damage your credibility before you even have a chance to justify your skills and experience. Craft a professional cover letter that has a clear purpose, is free from grammar and spelling mistakes, and details why you want to work for the company to expand your career opportunities.
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