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While most job seekers put a lot of time and attention into perfecting their resumes, not everyone is so careful with their cover letters, even when one is required as part of the application process. Writing a cover letter can be intimidating, particularly if you aren’t sure what to cover, and some candidates do make mistakes that can lead their application to be tossed in the discard pile.

If you want to ensure your materials are on point, here are some common cover letter mistakes to avoid.

Not Personalizing the Cover Letter

The majority job seekers know you need to target your resume to the position, and the cover letter is no different. This means you can’t simply send the same one to every hiring manager if you want to get results.

Instead of sending a generic letter, review the vacancy announcement and focus the content on key points from the job description, such as requested skills and experiences. Don’t forget to quantify the information whenever possible when you discuss accomplishments, and make sure you highlight your most applicable qualifications.

You also want to forgo addressing the letter to “Hiring Manager” or starting off with “To Whom It May Concern.” If the hiring manager’s name is in the job posting or can be found through a simple internet search, use that instead. Granted, for some positions, this information isn’t readily available, but it is always best to try and find out who will be reading your letter and addressing it appropriately than defaulting to a generic opening.

Creating a Boring Letter

While a resume is typically very formal and limited when it comes to displaying your personality, you can add an air of excitement to your cover letter. Instead of just repeating details about your experience and skills as they are written in your resume, add a few personal notes to help you stand out as a candidate. For maximum effect, make sure they are relevant to either the company’s products or services, or the position itself.

Not Proofreading

Spelling and grammar errors in your cover letter are sure to be noticed by the hiring manager, and they won’t make the best impression. Just as you need to proofread your resume, you need to do the same with your cover letter so you can spot and correct errors before sending in your application.

Failing to proofread could mean your application will be discarded if errors are found, as it suggests you don’t have great attention to detail or didn’t commit a reasonable amount of time to crafting the document.

When in doubt, ask a trusted friend or family member to review your cover letter before you submit it to the hiring manager.

Looking to Connect With Some of the Area’s Top Employers?

By following the tips above, you can avoid some common cover letter mistakes that can hurt your chances of getting the job. If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at PrideStaff can help ensure your cover letter is in order and connect you with some of the area’s top employers. Contact us to learn more about our services today.

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